In 2017, the online multi-player industry was revolutionized when Brendan Greene and Chang Han Kim launched their game PUBG (PlayerUnderground’s Battlegrounds), published under the name PUBG Corporation. The game was based on the mods created by Greene for other games such as DayZ: Battle Royale a mod based on a Japanese film with the same name.
The game was targeted towards the hard-core gaming population to provide them with an authentic experience of an online multi-player game which involved not only free-roam within the game but also required strategic planning by players in order to eventually win. The game play of Battlegrounds is arranged in a variety of game modes, like solo, duo, squad, etc. Each game mode is matched independently (For example, Duos cannot be matched with Solo queue). These game modes consist of 1st person & 3rd person (w/ 1st person optional) servers.
Though the game looked simple, a lot of hard-work went in to developing the game. The reasons behind the success of PUBG was not only the idea and inspiration which fueled the project, but also the dedication of the employees at Bluehole who voluntarily put in longer working hours for the project. Thus, March 2017 marked the release of the early access of PUBG, and the craze took over the world.
PUBG Craze in India
When it comes to gaming, India is not viewed as the primary preference that comes to a gaming company’s mind. Yet, not even a year has passed and it would seem as if the PUBG rage has started a fire, which here to engulf the gaming world.
According to POKKT, a leading mobile video advertising platform, more than 222 million active gamers have been spending an average of 42 minutes playing mobile games every day over five sessions in India as of 2017. The numbers are only growing and one of the biggest contributors in recent months has been PUBG Mobile. PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, which is originally a PC and console game, was launched on the mobile platform in March 2018. Within one year, the game has managed to gain such a massive user base that even PM Modi mentioned it in his speech, commenting on how the game is distracting kids from academics. How did it manage to do so?
Battle Royale is a fresh concept which was introduced to the Indian market. Taking advantage of this situation, Tencent Games heavily marketed the game both on iOS and Android, ensuring that its game was available for all. The swift actions taken by the mobile gaming company grasped the attention of the young gamers, and rookies, thereby further strengthening its position. When Epic Games tried to disrupt it by launching its own version of the game called Fortnite, PUBG managed to hold its ground, partly because it was available on all platforms, unlike Fortnite which caters to only iOS users. The company also ensured that the players continued to play the game by updating the game and adding new contents to the already popular modes of the game.
Introduction of PUBG Lite in Thailand
Tencent Games is the world’s largest gaming company , one of the world’s most valuable technology conglomerates, one of the world’s largest social media companies, and one of the world’s largest venture capital firms and investment corporations. The company surpassed the market value of US$500 billion in 2018, becoming the first Asian technology company to cross the valuation mark. It has since then emerged as one of Asia’s most valuable companies, and among the world’s top technology companies by market value. As of 2018, Tencent has the 5th highest global brand value. The company is mostly famous for launching games such as Dungeon Fighter Online, QQ fantasy Honor of Kings. It also holds part rights to Battle Royale games such as PUBG, for which it has developed a special Android emulator, to provide more comfort in the gaming experience.
PUBG Corp. has begun the testing of the lite version of its app in Thailand. The company wishes to launch, in the near future, a stripped -down version of its game, which can be played on any mobile or P.C with low-end hardware specifications. While the normal version of the game functions properly, it drains a lot of battery, and requires a certain hardware specification, which is not available to every consumer in the market. With the beta launching of its game, the company also hopes that it could rival Fortnite, which requires lower hard-ware settings and doesn’t require any upfront costs. As one might expect, PUBG Lite doesn’t quite match up to the original version. The game features just one map, Erangel, and is also limited in game modes. It will operate as a standalone version of the game, separate from the classic PUBG. The developers are promising that the free version of the game will get its own exclusive content, including maps.
Like every natural lifeline of a game I feel PUBG too will face a time when the craze of a game will start to fade away. Irrespective of the company’s best efforts to keep users fixated to the game many are realizing that game now has spurred into an addiction leading to severe harm on studies as well as social interaction. At a day and age where social interactions are less and more tie is spent on playing video than physical games, the craze of PUBG further sealed the notion that video games do more harm than good. I personally believe that a balance must be created between video games, physical games and studies to ensure the overall development of the upcoming and present generations.
Sources: Money control.com, News18.com, Wikipedia.com, Pubg.gamepedia.com, Endgadget.com, Bing pictures.com, gamesindustry.biz, Fox Sports Asia