Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is now available as a free-to-play title, nearly five years after the game originally launched in 2017.
As detailed in a blog shared earlier today, free players will “start out with a free basic account which will have access to most in-game content”. There will be an option to upgrade to Battlegrounds Plus, which costs £9.99 ($12.99) and comes with cosmetic items, 1,300 G-Coin (an in-game currency), and access to ranked and custom game mode playlists.
Players who have already purchased PUBG will automatically be given Battlegrounds Plus at no additional cost. A blog in December clarified that the game’s ranked mode would be locked behind the paid Battlegrounds Plus upgrade to avoid an increase in hackers following the free-to-play change.
Last week, PUBG Mobile was awarded £7.3million in damages following a lawsuit filed against a hacking group. According to the lawsuit, the hacking group was responsible for creating and distributing cheats for the game.
On making the jump to free-to-play, PUBG Corporation creative developer Dave Curd said that it’s “the natural next step” for the title and “a great way to introduce more players to our universe”. When asked if the shift was to aid competition with other free-to-play rivals such as Fortnite and Warzone, Curd said it was “in no way a response” to those games and added that “we develop our game independently of others and are excited to see what is to come”.