If you’re at all familiar with PC gaming you’ve no doubt heard of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – an online Battle Royale-style shooter that has quickly become 2017’s breakout gaming hit.
Despite still technically being an unfinished product, the Early Access title has broken concurrent player records on Steam and has sold well over 20 million copies in less than twelve months. That’s all before its upcoming Xbox One release next month (and an increasingly likely PS4 launch in 2018).
At this point, the game – mostly known as simply PUBG – has become a bonafide phenomenon that has outsold industry mainstays like Call of Duty. And now it’s on its way to mobile… in China.
For a bit of background, back in September, Shenzen-based internet conglomerate Tencent purchased a small stake in PUBG developer Bluehole. It emerged last week that the deal will see PUBG come to China with Tencent holding exclusive rights to the franchise in the region.
Now, Tencent has announced that its “strategic partnership” will also lead to a full-fat PUBG experience on mobile devices. We’re assuming that means Android and possibly iOS, but any details on platforms, a release date, and pricing are non-existent at this stage.
In an announcement post (written in Mandarin so I’m dealing with Google Translate here), Tencent promises that PUBG on mobile will retain the “core gameplay” of the PC release and deliver a genuine Battle Royale experience “anytime, anywhere on [a] mobile phone.”
It’s worth noting that PUBG is already being adapted to fit China’s strict regulations on entertainment media, but considering the game’s staggering popularity in the country, it likely won’t steer too far away from the established formula.
It’ll be incredibly interesting to see how successfully Tencent can adapt PUBG’s survival mechanics and twitchy gunplay to a touchscreen interface. Unfortunately, there’s no word on whether an international release could follow.
Nevertheless, it’s not all that surprising to see Bluehole and Tencent joining forces to bring the record-breaker to smartphones. After all, dozens of PUBG clones have already flooded the Play Store in recent months, with each cashing-in (and in some cases outright copying) the game’s basic structure and design.
Several of these clones have amassed millions of downloads, so there’s clearly a market out there for an official version.
What do you think of the prospect of PUBG on mobile? Could duking it out for Chicken Dinners ever be as fun on a smartphone screen? Let us know in the comments.
November 27, 2017 at 11:56AM