"Players, we will be leaving Early Access and launching PC 1.0 on Dec 20 11PM PST. The maintenance on live servers for 1.0 will start Dec 20 4PM PST / Dec 21 3AM CET and last for 5 hours. 1.0 release patch notes and our plans beyond the release will be shared with you soon. Please note that once the live servers go into maintenance, the test servers will also be closed. This is to ensure a smooth transition to PC 1.0. We hope for your understanding."
It seems like PUBG has been stuck in Early Access forever but in reality, it has only been nine months since its arrival. Other games have remained in beta for much longer. ARK: Survival Evolved, for example, spent almost two years in Steam’s Early Access.
Please note that once the live servers go into maintenance, the test servers will also be closed. This is to ensure a smooth transition to PC 1.0. We hope for your understanding.— PLAY BATTLEGROUNDS (@PUBATTLEGROUNDS) December 20, 2017
Browsing through comments on the announcement shows that feelings are mixed about the release within the community. Some say it’s about time while others feel the game is still not ready.
“So wait... You're launching 1.0 on the 20th... at 11pm pacific... What kind of release is this???” says one follower.
“A rushed, amateur release,” another responded.
Many others shared the same sentiment, stating that due to the recent troubles with the game (rubber banding, low frame rates, etc.), the timing of the release is extremely premature.
Some, however, think that it is totally fine.
11 AM December 20 for me. Im a happy guy now.— LepreNx^ (@LepreNx) December 20, 2017
A Reddit user points out that it doesn’t matter whether it is in Early Access or not. As a solely online multiplayer game, it is always going to be expanding and fixing bugs no matter what version number is attached to it.
One user on Twitter couldn’t decide if he was happy or mad:
“They have put so much money and time into. Its time for a proper launch. And anyway, its done before christmas so alot of peole are gonna be happy. But yet they still can't get there servers to not rubber band at the start of a game.... thats one thing i'm pissed about.”
Others speculate that PlayerUnknown is only doing a “last minute release” so that Battlegrounds will qualify for Game of the Year consideration. However, many publications including Polygon and Rolling Stone have already named it as their GOTY.
Plus, Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene went on record at the Game Awards saying he doesn’t think it deserves Game of the Year. PUBG was nominated for GOTY at the awards show but lost to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. As such, accolades are not likely to be the motivation behind the move out of Early Access.
Regardless of how the community feels about it (or PlayerUnknown's rationale behind it), Battlegrounds 1.0 is officially launching tonight, December 20, at 11:00 p.m. PST.