Battle Royale games, it seems, is the next battle ground for the video games. After Fortnite made its invite-only debut on the iOS last week, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds – popularly known as PUBG – has also made its mobile version available in the U.S. (and 122 other regions across the globe) on both iOS and Android – for free.
PUBG mobile version is no surprise. The game was made available to the Chinese iOS and Android devices last month, thanks to PUBG mobile publisher – Tencent. Further, PUBG mobile received a soft rollout last week on Canadian Android smartphones and tablets.
For players who believed that the mobile version of the game would not be as user-friendly as the PC and console version, Ars has some encouraging words. “Based on our preliminary tests of the live American version, this famously unoptimized game is way more playable—even on older, legacy devices—than it has any right to be,” says Ars.
Even, the App Store description of the game says that the PUBG mobile “perfectly recreates” the PC version. “Officially licensed PUBG MOBILE, the original battle royale style game is coming! Unreal Engine 4 brings smooth, next-generation graphics to your mobile device, and produces a graphical and audio experience that perfectly recreates the PC version,” read the description of the game.
The true Battle Royale experience is now on your phone.
PUBG Mobile is available for iOS and Android in the US today. More regions will be announced at a later date. pic.twitter.com/RiyUWVdpQn
— PUBG (@PUBG) March 19, 2018
The mobile version includes voice chat for squad communication. Other mobile optimizations include aim assist, on-screen controls – including steering and pedals for driving, and an option to auto-pick up items. The game is now available for download on both iOS and Google Play for Android. The file size is almost 900 MB.
“We are working hard to create an authentic PUBG mobile experience that players new and old will love,” said Chen Jerry, Tencent’s Corporate Vice President. “A lot of [work] went into controls and optimization to give players a smooth and intuitive experience.”
Last week, Fortnite: Battle Royale rolled out its invite-only beta for the iOS. However, unlike the Fortnite, the PUBG mobile version needs no invite. Fortnite’s mobile debut was a big affair – thanks to some free publicity from rapper Drake. Within hours of its launch, the game was the number one app in about thirteen countries, according to SensorTower. The players have spent more than a million dollars on in-app purchases, despite it being an invite-only game.
It must be noted that PUBG was the one that popularized the battle royale mode. Later, Fortnite clubbed the mode in its existing cooperative survival game. So, it is now PUBG that has to play catch up to Fortnite. Also, PUBG mobile, unlike Fortnite, does not offer cross-play and cross-progression with other versions.
For those rare individuals who still haven’t heard about PUBG, it is an online multiplayer shooter game, where 100 players paradrop onto an island. Players hunt for the deadly weapons and fight till the last one stands. A player can play solo, with a friend, or in a team of four. Along with weapons, players also need to pick up other items that could help them stay alive on the island.
Similar to other mobile games, the PUBG mobile includes in-app purchases to unlock cosmetic items like clothing. The game is rated ‘Teen’ due to the violence. The game is now available for download on all the iOS 9.0 and later devices, while for Android it is v 5.1.1-and-above. Further, the game requires at least 2GB RAM.
Talking of Tencent, which also owns WeChat, it is currently among the biggest gaming companies in the world. The Chinese company owns Riot Games (maker of League of Legends) and a majority stake in Supercell (Clash Royale). It even has a stake in Epic Games – the developer of Fortnite. So, Tencent will emerge as a winner even if either of the games fail to catch on with the fans.
Tencent was the first Asian technology company to hit $500 billion in market cap. The Chinese company – the world’s largest video games company by revenue – beat expectations in November by reporting a 61% jump in revenue in the third-quarter. The massive surge in revenue was driven by its video games business, which in turn got a boost from the immensely popular mobile Honour of Kings. The game, which has about 200 million monthly players in China, was rebranded as Arena of Valor for launch in the U.S. and Europe.