The success that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has experienced the last few months will undoubtedly only grow at a fast rate once the game releases on Xbox One later this year. When that time does come, it seems the team at Bluehole is hoping gamers on both PC and Xbox One can enjoy playing the title together.
Chang Han Kim, an executive producer at Bluehole, shared with VG24/7 that the developer is very interested in bringing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds cross-play between PC and Xbox One, but that there are a few kinks that will need to be worked out first. Most notably, the team wants to figure out how to keep the game balanced between the two systems, and more importantly, the imbalance between controllers and keyboard and mouse. Kim said:
"Cross network play between the PC and the console is definitely something we want to do down the road, and we don’t anticipate we’ll have any technical issues with that.
"But… when you consider the competitive side of the game, I do feel that there’s a balance issue between controllers and keyboard and mouse. That’s what’s making it difficult for us to do right away. If we’re going to allow players to use controllers we need to have the aim assist added in and things like that. We’re not going to be supporting it right away, but it’s something we’d like to look into later."
It’s an interesting idea, but is certainly one that will cause additional headaches for the developer if it decides to roll out cross-play between the two systems. It’s no secret that players using keyboard and mouse have a distinct advantage over controller users. Even with aim assist for controllers, there’s still a tough balancing act to consider.
One would think that with 4 million copies sold so far and with the number of concurrent players in the game, the developer wouldn’t need to worry about doing any kind of cross-play for the game. Players shouldn’t have any issues finding games for the foreseeable future, and keeping the two groups separate would limit frustration among players about any imbalances.
That said, Microsoft has noted on multiple occasions that it’s working on keyboard and mouse support for the Xbox One. If that feature were to launch sometime this fall, it could make cross-platform play between Xbox One and PC much more palatable for console players. It would at least put them on even ground with PC players.
We will note that PC and Xbox One cross-play for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds wouldn’t be coming for quite a while, since the team is currently focused on optimizing the game and adding other helpful features, such as climbing and vaulting. The developer is also hard at work on a new zombie mode that will offer a different gameplay experience for players.
Still, it’s a good time to at least start the conversation, and with the game’s success. So, hopefully Microsoft will be more inclined to open up mouse and keyboard support sooner to accommodate Bluehole’s dream of cross-play for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is currently available on PC, and is expected to release later this year on Xbox One.