‘PUBG: Battlegrounds’ release date: Krafton’s battle royale game shifts to a free-to-play model next month
Before “Fortnite” and “Apex Legends,” there was “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.” While these titles from Epic Games and Respawn Entertainment came after Krafton’s hit battle royale title, they have quite an advantage as they were launched as free-to-play games. Now, Krafton announced it will implement the same business model for “PUBG.”
The game, more commonly known as “PUBG,” popularized the battle royale game genre in recent years. And it has since paved the way for the release of more online multiplayer games with the same basic mechanics, including the “Call of Duty: Warzone.” With competition getting tighter for battle royale games, going free-to-play seems to be the right direction for “PUBG: Battlegrounds.”
More video game fans will be likely inclined to try the game once it becomes a free-to-play title starting Jan. 12, 2022. This marks a major shift for the game, which was introduced as a paid game since it entered early access on Steam in 2017. Krafton is also changing the game’s name along with a new business model, and the battle royale title is now being called “PUBG: Battlegrounds.”
The announcement was accompanied by a 44-second trailer titled “Battlegrounds for All,” emphasizing that more players should now be able to join the game. The developers also launched the official website for “PUBG: Battlegrounds,” where Krafton confirms all eight maps, namely Erangel, Miramar, Sanhok, Vikendi, Karakin, Paramo, Haven, and Taego, will be carried over to the free-to-play game.
“PUBG: Battlegrounds” will continue to feature fan-favorite weapons from the original game, including the AKM and M416 assault rifles, the Kar98k and AWM sniper rifles, and the staple S1897 12-gauge shotgun. The trailer also suggests the gameplay will remain unchanged. The free-to-play game will still have up to 100 players landing on a map with the goal of becoming the last player or last squad standing.
Krafton is now encouraging fans to pre-register for “PUBG: Battlegrounds” from Dec. 10 to Jan. 11 next year to receive in-game rewards. Upcoming events leading to the game’s launch will also reward fans for inviting their friends to register and for participating in a “My PUBG Play Style” quiz.