Today I’m excited to reveal our plans for BATTLEGROUNDS, including more details on the Closed Beta Test (CBT). First and foremost, I want to let you all know that CBT will begin in all territories on Friday, February 24th!
During this time, we’re planning to make the CBT accessible for four weeks, with servers being up from Friday until Sunday of every weekend. This will give us time to implement fixes based on your feedback and balance the game during times when the servers aren’t available. As always, we’re aiming to offer the best Battle Royale experience we can.
As for what to expect from the CBT, you can find the major changes below:
World Level Design All of the main Erangel map areas have been completed and implemented. Since the last testing phase, we’ve added a swamp area, flooded town, logging site, ruins, power plant, underground bunkers, quarry and a shooting range. We have also completed the main military installation and added a river that cuts through the main island. While all of these areas can now be found on the map, we intend to continue polishing them over the course of the CBT.
Lighting Real-time global illumination has been completed and implemented, providing for a much more realistic lighting effect.
Animation We’ve reworked our entire animation system to create a much more realistic experience. This new set of animations impact all character motion and movement. We’ve also added new reload animations for all 17 types of weapons.
Gun Play A more precise recoil system has been implemented, allowing the player to better control each weapon based on their various characteristics. We’ll continue to tune gun mechanics throughout the CBT.
Level Streaming Through level streaming, you will now experience a smoother gameplay experience, particularly for those with lower RAM specifications.
User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) We have spent the last three months completely redesigning both our UI & UX for inventory management and game interface. The new interface will be much more intuitive and easier to use when in the heat of battle.
Destructible Environments In the CBT you will be able to destroy doors and fences. We plan to increase the number of destructible objects that in the future.
A lot has changed since we first began working on BATTLEGROUNDS. As a result, our development roadmap has undergone some changes.
When we first started planning our launch, it was our goal to transition from Closed Beta directly into a full launch of the game. Following our second Alpha, we had several discussions on the topic, to gauge what best fits BATTLEGROUNDS. We decided to enter Early Access first, with a full launch later this year. Given how much our philosophy revolves around developing this game alongside our community, we feel that Early Access is a good fit. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with all of you as we constantly strive to improve the game.
As far as monetization is concerned, know that we eventually intend to give the player options to purchase cosmetic items only. However, until the game is out of Early Access, our development resources will be focused entirely on improving the Battle Royale game mode. Only then will we consider the addition of in-game purchases.
We plan to go into Early Access shortly after the CBT has come to completion. While we don’t yet have a date set for when this will happen, we wanted to make you aware now, so we can address any concerns you may have.
During Early Access, we’ll give certain users the ability to create Custom Games. Custom games allow players to create their own versions of the Battle Royale experience. This includes giving them the option of setting the number of teammates, the type of weather, the looting limitations and various other game options. Our initial goal is to properly test this feature first among a smaller group of players. If all goes well, we'll gradually release it to the greater playerbase. We’ll give you all more details on custom games once we begin implementing this feature.
We’re not yet certain how long we’ll remain in Early Access, but our goal is for BATTLEGROUNDS to hit full launch within six months. Upon launch, the Battle Royale game mode will be complete, and we’ll have implemented full modding support. We have a lot of additional content planned for launch, and we’re excited to reveal it all to you over the coming months.
Finally, I want to thank you all once more for the amazing support you’ve shown to the entire BATTLEGROUNDS team over the last year. Your quality feedback and suggestions have continued to help us make the best game we possibly can.