‘PUBG’ player count has spiked since going free-to-play

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Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) officially went free-to-play earlier today, and has seen a massive player count spike on Steam as a result.

PUBG initially launched in 2017, but most likely in an attempt to compete with Fortnite, the game free-to-play. According to SteamCharts, that has resulted in the game achieving a peak of 667,399 players over the past 24-hours. That’s roughly double the player peak of the game over the whole of December, and the highest peak since March 2021.

PUBG
PUBG. Credit: PUBG CORP

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Now, all players can get a free Basic PUBG account, which has access to most content in the game. If you had already purchased the game, you will have been automatically upgraded to a Battleground Plus account, giving you access to all the content as well as the game’s ranked mode. A Battleground Plus account otherwise costs £9.99.

The ranked mode is locked behind Battleground Plus in order to avoid an increase in hackers due to PUBG going free-to-play.

PUBG Corporation creative director Dave Curd says that the game going free-to-play in “no way a response” to other free-to-play titles. Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty: Warzone have all been free-to-play since their release. The former has found great success in being such, with battle passes being the main method of monetisation.

PUBG Mobile was awarded £7.3million in damages from a hacking ground lawsuit last week. Courts in both the US and Germany ordered the hacking group to pay the damages to Tencent Games and PUBG Mobile creator Krafton.

In other news, Kirby And The Forgotten Land received a new trailer earlier today, showing off more of the game in action. It also revealed that the game will feature co-op, where the second player can join in as Waddle Dee.

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