In less than five months, online battle royale shooter, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has sold more than 10 million copies in Early Access. That’s crazy. It also recently surpassed 1 million concurrent players on Steam, a feat no non-Valve game has ever accomplished. Further, it is also close to breaking the all-time concurrent player record currently held by Dota 2 (1,291,328 players). That’s also crazy.
What’s even more bonkers is that all of this relatively came out of nowhere. No one predicted this. Sure, a new Minecraft or Grand Theft Auto will see mega numbers out the gate. But who could have foreseen the battle royale survival shooter and debut project from developer Bluehole selling 10 million copies (and counting) before it even fully releases? Well, the game’s director and designer Brendan Greene sure didn’t. And Bluehole even less so.
When Greene pitched the game to Bluehole, he predicted it would see 1 million units in its first month (in reality it sold 2 million). However, while Greene was quite bullish in his predictions — after all 1 million in one month would have been a great figure — Bluehole only expected the title to ship 200,000 to 300,000 units in the entirety of its first year.
Let me say that again: Bluehole expected within its first year on the market, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds would ship at best 300,000 units. It has already sold 10 million in less than six months. Again, crazy.
“A lot of the [internal team], they really couldn’t believe it, ” Green said while speaking to Polygon. “There was a few veterans of the game industry that were [saying], like, ‘No, no. 200,000 [or] 300,000 the first year.’ But then when we hit that first million, there were a lot of smiles around the office.”
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is currently available in Early Access form on PC — via Steam — for $29.99 USD. A full release is expected in 2018. Further, an Xbox One version (via Xbox Game Preview) is expected to hit sometime later this year.