Every now and then, some big game or company riles up its audience with a post, tweet, or video it probably doesn’t expect to get any blowback from. This happened to PUBG Mobile this month, and the hope is that the vocal disappointment in its existence is something of a catalyst for change going forward. It probably won’t be, but it gives players a proper platform to speak up about the game’s issues and voice their concerns surrounding the developer’s apparent intentions.
The tweet we’re referring to here dates back a little bit now, but the point remains the same. In it, the PUBG Mobile social team asked a simple question: If you could add a new map to PUBG Mobile, what would the theme be? It was a simple, innocent enough question in a social post designed to generate discussion. And while the suggestions made through it weren’t likely to be iterated on anyway, the game’s social team probably didn’t expect the kinds of responses that followed — a whole lot of vitriol about how a new map is the last of the game’s concerns.
There’s a long-running saga between PUBG Mobile players and the developers that resources are rarely used where they’re truly needed. This mostly boils down to new skins and events being prioritized over bug fixes, new features, and cheat detection systems. And although raised concerns have typically been answered in some fashion, it’s a vicious cycle with no end in sight at the moment.
If you could ADD a new map to PUBG MOBILE ????️
What would the theme be? ????????⛰️ #PUBGMOBILE pic.twitter.com/OeCnkIX4lw
— PUBG MOBILE (@PUBGMOBILE) February 5, 2022
In the case of the offending PUBG Mobile tweet, the post went from being a fun little request to basically being an open invitation for players to scream and shout about how tone-deaf the tweet actually was. A few ideas did show up — like “a massive 8x8km map” including “lots of different terrains and big cities,” but the same suggestion ended on a tangent, decreeing that said map should contain new cars and guns — a sentiment echoed by much of the community deeper in the replies.
Between the other on-topic suggestions were calls to stop working on new maps and to instead look into making the game’s various limited-time modes stick around permanently. Things like Metro Royale and Runic Power are often well-received, but they come and go despite their popularity, with their potential return sometimes dangled like a carrot on a stick for months on end. There’s room to argue that keeping every single one of them around would split up the player base too much and result in problematic queue times, but the community team has never really explained why the “best” PUBG Mobile modes can’t stick around.
Overall, it doesn’t take much scrolling through the replies of the mostly innocent tweet to see players saying things like “focus on fixing the game” and “fix what’s already there” between more damning statements like “NO MORE MAPS.” What probably started off as a fun little social exercise for the game’s community team has likely become something of a wake-up call for the studio as a whole. At least, that’s how it should be received.
PUBG Mobile players don’t really have a direct line of communication with those who work on the game they put their time and money into. Forums aren’t really a thing anymore, and Discord servers can quickly get overwhelmed with fast-moving messages, leaving a simple Twitter post like this to play accidental host to the grievances of the community. Given they launched a new Arena map out of the blue a week after this, though, would suggest that the raised voices weren’t able to stop the wheels of the gigantic battle royale machine.
Disclaimer: Fanbyte is owned by Tencent, which also runs Tencent Games, developer and publisher of PUBG Mobile. Tencent also subsidizes much of Fanbyte’s PUBG Mobile coverage by covering freelancer budget costs. Those covering PUBG Mobile for the site have no contact with Tencent, however, and are given complete creative control to write whatever they wish.