'PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' Creator Responds to Controversy Over Purchasable Cosmetics

After controversy, creator Brendan Greene posts lengthy blog on Steam explaining inclusion of purchasable cosmetic options

Last week, players voiced major frustrations over the inclusion of purchasable cosmetic options in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. While their concerns and gripes haven't caused the developer to remove their inclusion, creator Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene did post a lengthy blog on Steam explaining their inclusion.

The crate and key system, Greene says, is an effort to keep the game going after its eventual launch if and when its sales eventually plateau. However, like everything added to the game, the developers feel it's necessary to test new features while it's still in early access in order to ensure it will be "stable and ready to be fully introduced to our community," he says.

The items players have found issue with are entirely optional and not needed to actually play the game. "This is an economy that would and should benefit all players - both who are willing to pay and who are not willing to pay for vanity items," Greene said. "It is important that all our players are able to enjoy the various items that will be provided for customization, and it is even more crucial that we have a stable self-sustaining economy that maintains the value of the items you have purchased or gained."

The common concern of players is that if these pay-to-use items were to prove lucrative for the developer, it'll begin implementing more egregious pay-to-play options in the game. As of right now, PlayerUnknow's Battlegrounds doesn't have microtransactions. Aside from purchasing the game, it's completely free to play.

"I do understand your concerns about the system, but I feel testing for a sturdy economy on the Steam Marketplace is necessary at this stage and ultimately beneficial for the game," Greene continues. "And once again, this is a purely optional system, and you are not forced into participating if you do not feel like it. You will still get a fully featured game, with a polished Battle Royale game-mode, a wide variety of weapons and vehicles to play with, stat tracking, ranking and leaderboard systems, 2D and 3D replays and much more."

He does, however, admit that the developer's messaging about these systems was unclear, apologizing for the frustrations and offering this explanation of the crate and keys"

"Like the current free-to-open system, you will be limited in the number of crates you can receive each week, with the crate prices being reset each Monday. Currently, this limit is set to 6 crates per week, and you are free to trade them on the Steam Marketplace. I also want to point out that the full cosmetic system is still being discussed internally, and we are taking your concerns into consideration when it comes to the ability to get free cosmetics by playing the game."

"The process of communicating our intentions precisely to our fans and communities should have been done in a more careful and prudent manner. I’ve learned a lot, and we’ll try to communicate better moving forward," he said.

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is expected as a full release later this year.