PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, the game that has famously dominated the Steam charts despite still being unfinished, currently has a problem with AFK farmers — a problem that developer Bluehole Studio is fixing very soon.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has enjoyed immense popularity, setting the Steam record for peak players by a non-Valve game just over a month ago and then reaching the impressive milestone of beating DOTA 2 in terms of concurrent players last week. If the Battle Royale-inspired multiplayer shooter would like to continue its exponential growth, however, Bluehole will need to address issues such as the increasing number of AFK farmers in the game.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds AFK Farmers Problem
Recently, there has been a disturbing increase in the number of players who join matches but do not actually play. These AFK players, who are content with just letting their character die, now range about a dozen for each match, according to a report by PC Gamer. There have been instances, however, when that number can go up to as high as half of the players in the 100-man matches.
The reason behind the rise of AFK gamers on PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is that these players are farming in-game battle points, which are used to purchase items that they can sell back into the marketplace. The practice has become more lucrative since the launch of premium crates during the Gamescom Invitational, as the rarest cosmetic items that can be acquired from them can be sold for hundreds of dollars in the Steam marketplace, including a skirt that players are buying for $300.
Players can earn about 50 BP to 70 BP within the about five minutes that it takes to join a match until their character dies. If a player keeps on doing this, it will only take about one hour to two hours to accumulate 1,000 BP.
How Will Bluehole Solve The AFK Farmers Issue?
At PAX West 2017, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds producer Chang-Han Kim said that the problem of AFK farmers is actually not that bad right now, but Bluehole will implement some changes to prevent the practice.
"It's something we will definitely be addressing," Kim said to PC Gamer in an interview, as Bluehole looks into creating a tool that will prevent AFK famers from earning BP without actually playing the game. The developer might adjust the number of BP earned or simply preventing AFK players from joining matches in the first place.
AFK players is certainly not a problem limited to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, as other multiplayer titles have also been plagued by such an issue. Bluehole, however, will need to implement a solution quickly, as AFK farmers have been dragging down the gameplay of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.