PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is now available on both Android and iOS in India, the US, and other countries. The game, colloquially known as PUBG (pronounced pub-gee), is free-to-play though you’re looking at a sizeable download of nearly 900MB. It has been developed by Tencent Games, which also worked on localising PUBG for its release in China, in addition to two mobile versionsreleased last month.
PUBG Mobile had gotten a soft launch on Android in Canada just last Friday, and it’s now been expanded to more regions. The short testing period and the quick global rollout has likely to do something with the release of Fortnite, another online multiplayer battle royale game, earlier this month, which has since rocketed to the top of iTunes charts in 47 countries. Fortnite players have spent more than a million dollars on in-app purchases, despite the game currently available on an invite-only basis.
Fortnite has also benefited from Canadian rapper Drake participating in a Twitch live-stream that broke streaming records. With PUBG being the game that popularised the battle royale genre, and Fortnite essentially fusing that design with its existing cooperative survival game, it’s now the other way around: PUBG is following Fortnite to keep up with its mobile operations.
PUBG Mobile runs on Unreal Engine 4, supports 100 players just like the PC version, and in-game voice chat so you can chat with friends, and claims to have “powerful anti-cheating mechanisms”. Tencent Games recommends an iPhone 6 or above, and Android 5.1.1 and at least 2GB RAM. You’ll also need a persistent Internet connection, if that wasn’t already obvious.
Thanks to its parent conglomerate Tencent, which owns WeChat among others, Tencent Games has made itself one of the biggest gaming companies in the world. It owns Riot Games, the maker of League of Legends, has a controlling stake in Supercell (Clash Royale), and a 40 percent stake in Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite.