Why The Callisto Protocol is no longer in the PUBG universe: "Saying it's attached is disingenuous"

The Callisto Protocol
(Image credit: Krafton)

The Callisto Protocol was ultimately separated from the PUBG universe currently in the works at publisher Krafton because the team at developer Striking Distance felt the connection had become "disingenuous" as the game came into focus. 

We asked Striking Distance founder Glen Schofield about the game's surprising and somewhat confusing relationship with PUBG during a recent interview, which explored how The Callisto Protocol evolved when it felt "too much like Dead Space." Schofield maintained that the PUBG tie-in was never forced on The Callisto Protocol, and that the team simply started to drift away from the idea as the game developed.

"Coming into it, when I started in 2019, PUBG was still on the heels of being this giant, giant thing," Schofield explained. "And they're working on a story, this timeline, and they're like, you think your game could fit on the timeline? And I'm like, it'd be kind of cool. Maybe I need the PUBG thing? I don't know. And it wasn't because I didn't think that we had a good enough reputation. Maybe worldwide that would help springboard it. But the truth is, as we're making it, we're going farther away. Marketing or PR, whatever that gave us, it felt better just to be on its own. We didn't talk about sales, we just talked about what felt right." 

"And it was our idea," he adds. "So we went back and I just went to [Changhan Kim], who's the CEO, and I just went, 'Hey this would be much better, we feel, if it's not attached anymore. Saying it's attached is disingenuous.' So he was like, 'All right, cut it free.'" 

Schofield announced that the game "no longer takes place in the PUBG universe" just last month. Even back in December 2020, Schofield only said that The Callisto Protocol would have "little connections here and there" but nothing too deeply tied to PUBG. The game is set some 300 years into the future, after all, so the connection was always more of an Easter egg than anything. No space horror chicken dinners here. 

The first gameplay trailer for The Callisto Protocol dropped just days ago and showed off a gravity gun amidst familiar dismemberment. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.