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Sendbird Chat joins the battle royale madness with “PUBG: NEW STATE”

20211111 PUBG Launch Blog cover
Nov 18, 2021 • 5 min read
Emmanuel Delorme
Product Marketing Manager
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How consumers prefer to communicate with businesses
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“PUBG New State” is live and we couldn’t be more excited to power the chat experience of the most groundbreaking mobile game release of the year! We are proud that Krafton chose Sendbird to enable online chat for what will be one of the most played games in the world.

What are battle royale games?

For those who may have missed the explosion of the battle royale genre in the last few years, these are popular online games where up to 100 players from around the globe pit themselves against each other in a struggle for survival. The players start with nothing and have to explore an 8×8 km area to scavenge weapons and equipment. The last one standing wins!

Ready for the next level?

The road to “New State”

PUBG Studios, a subsidiary of Krafton, is a game studio famous for having developed one of the seminal battle royale PC games, “PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds”. As the trend towards mobile gaming accelerated, Krafton produced a mobile version in collaboration with the Chinese company Tencent: “PUBG mobile”. Available on iOS and Android, it became one of the most played mobile games.

A major hiccup along the way

When India banned “PUBG Mobile” due to rising tensions with China, Krafton had to devise a plan to bring back the popular game to its 50 million Indian fans. After taking back control of the game’s intellectual property, Krafton built a brand new in-house version for India and launched the development of the sequel of “Battlegrounds”: “PUBG: NEW STATE”. The game transports us to the year 2051, in the once-thriving city of Troi, located on the outskirts of Lansing, Michigan.

Building live chat for more than 50 million pre-registered users

PUBG has created a dystopian world grappling with climate change, a pandemic, and a financial debt crisis. Building a complex immersive world was a huge undertaking, and on top of this PUBG needed to make the game social and engaging for the fans. Krafton wanted to offer in-game chat as well as allow players to socialize in the waiting lobby as they are getting ready to play.

Battle games are social, and many players join their friends for fun regardless of their skill levels. To meet their users’ expectations, Krafton realized they needed to rebuild chat from the ground up. This meant engineering a complete communication infrastructure and set of chat features to provide a world-class experience.

Picking the right chat provider

Delivering scale, performance, and reliability

After evaluating multiple vendors, PUBG chose Sendbird. Sendbird offers the most feature-rich chat API and the most proven chat infrastructure in the market. With years of experience supporting many of the world’s largest brands like Reddit and Paytm, Sendbird stood out as the right candidate for the job.

With over 200 million monthly active users, Sendbird has the know-how to manage vast and unpredictable bursts of traffic, while keeping the user experience flawless. Sendbird is so confident in its ability to scale that it never prevents chat message delivery, even if an application exceeds its plan quota.

Keeping chats relevant with tens of thousands of players in a channel

To create a strong sense of community, PUBG designed lobbies and a world channel where tens of thousands of players can hang out and interact with each other. Unlike squads that exchange fewer messages during gameplay, the flow of messages in these open channels can quickly become unreadable due to the sheer number of participants sending hundreds of messages per second.

Industry practice for managing large open channels has been to randomly discard a high percentage of messages to slow down the flow. Deeming such a brute force way of reducing traffic as unacceptable for a best-in-class modern app, Sendbird devised a new Dynamic Partitioning feature that divides participants into subgroups. The technique improves readability and creates a more cohesive, fast, and reliable conversation that drives a stronger sense of belonging for the players.

Reducing latency with the #1 chat cloud network

To meet global latency performance and privacy requirements, Sendbird developed the largest in-app chat cloud infrastructures, which just expanded with our latest Canadian addition to 9 regions. For applications like “PUGB: NEW STATE”, where players from 200 countries can connect anytime, extended regional coverage is the only way to ensure the lowest latency for messages going around the world.

The 1st Unreal Engine chat SDK

When Krafton selected Sendbird, the only SDK we had for gaming was Unity. Krafton, however, uses Epic Games’ Unreal Engine. The Sendbird engineering team took on the serious challenge to develop the first version of the Unreal Sendbird chat SDK. It allowed Krafton to integrate chat with ease into its core gaming experience. Our new Unreal SDK is available as a private beta and creates a foundation to enable game developers’ future integration of the market-leading mobile chat engagement and communication platform.

White-glove support

At Sendbird, we consider every interaction with our customer as a partnership, bringing a depth of API integration and in-app communication expertise. From onboarding to data migration, architecture design, security, and launch planning, we are here all along the way to ensure our customers’ success. Also, our setup with offices over three continents and broad coverage of all time zones gave Krafton the confidence that its global launch could get the support it needed.

Let the fun go on!

After Krafton’s setback in India, the Sendbird team is proud to have delivered the privacy and performance capabilities that “PUBG: NEW STATE” required to extend its reach to players in 200 countries. As a loyal and committed partner, we wish Krafton the best of success!

To all the PlayerUnknown out there, we wish you loads of fun experiencing what is now the most exciting battle royale game across the entire mobile space.

A word of advice: don’t forget to chat with your teammates. The collaboration will be the key to your success!

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