PUBG: Battlegrounds, the first-person battle royale that “inspired” a genre is now free to play.
That said, like many free-to-play titles, its developers have their fingers crossed that people will pour money into the online shooter. The game, which hit Steam Early Access in 2017, now also sports an “optional premium account” so, for a one-time fee of $12.99, you can get access to a ranked mode, XP boosts and more.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, as it was then known, was arguably the first battle royale FPS, though it clearly takes inspiration from 2000’s Battle Royale movie. Creator Brendan Greene, aka PlayerUnknown has moved on to new pastures, creating his own studio, leaving it in the hands of South Korean developer and distributor Krafton.
Aside from going free to play, the latest update, 15.2 also adds a wealth of new features including drones, tactical gear, action queuing, and more. You can find the full patch notes here; aside from these gameplay changes, the patch also fixes a range of bugs including one which can turn your character’s arms transparent.
But.. hang on a minute? What about the people who paid for PUBG? They’ll receive a “Special Commemorative Pack” featuring in-game items, including a commemorative frying pan. Krafton haven’t specified if this applies to those who purchased the disc-based console version – if that’s not the case, retailers who current sell the disc version, will find their stock is suddenly wortheless.
There’s also the question of why, given that PUBG stands for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Krafton chose to add a second Battlegrounds – it’s giving us big ATM machine vibes. But we’ll let that go.. for now.
PUBG: Battlegrounds is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Google Stadia, Android and iOS.