PUBG Mobile[a] is a free-to-play battle royale video game developed by LightSpeed & Quantum Studio, a division of Tencent Games. It is a mobile game adaptation of PUBG: Battlegrounds and was released for Android and iOS on 19 March 2018.

PUBG Mobile
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Mobile.webp
Developer(s)LightSpeed & Quantum Studio
Publisher(s)Tencent Games
Composer(s)Tom Salta
Brian Tyler
EngineUnreal Engine 4
Platform(s)Android, iOS
Release19 March 2018
Genre(s)Battle royale
Mode(s)Multiplayer

It was published by multiple publishers in different regions, including Krafton, Tencent, and VNG Games.[1][2] By May 2022, PUBG Mobile had accumulated over a billion downloads while grossing over $8.42 billion, making it the fourth highest-grossing mobile game. It is also the most-played mobile video game of all time. In 2021, the game spawned an Indian version, Battlegrounds Mobile India, and a separated game taking place in the PUBG Universe, New State Mobile.

GameplayEdit

PUBG Mobile features gameplay similar to that of the original PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Players parachute down to a remote island and fight to remain as the last player standing, competing alone or in teams of two or four, depending on the gamemode selected before the match. Each match lasts about 30 minutes.

The game begins with the participants flying in a plane over one of many possible maps, also selected before the match. As they cross the map, players choose where to parachute down. When the plane finishes its flight, a blue border forms around the perimeter of the island, marking the boundary between the safe zone and the exterior blue zone. The safe zone shrinks every few minutes, and anyone left in the blue zone will steadily lose health as long as they remain there, potentially to the point of death. The rate of health loss increases when the safe zone shrinks.

When players first reach the island with no supplies or weapons, they must find them around their environment or loot them from downed players. In general, better weapons and equipment are found in more dangerous parts of the map.[3] In addition to the regular shrinking of the safe zone, temporary red zones may randomly appear to be barraged with bombs, and from time to time, the plane flies over the battlefield to release a package with special equipment, potentially including items that cannot be found elsewhere on the island. All of these special events, including the normal safe zone shrinking, are announced to the players before they occur to give a fair warning.[4][5]

Additional features unique to the mobile version of PUBG include log-in bonuses, missions and micro-goals, crew recruiting, map and compass improvements with larger and clear markers near the teammates, and an auto loot system, as well as an increased number of bots.[6][7]

DevelopmentEdit

PUBG Mobile was made in four months using Unreal Engine 4.[8][9] An abridged version of the game for lower-end Android devices, PUBG Mobile Lite, was first released in Thailand on 24 January 2019 before releasing in more Asian, Latin American, and African countries.[10][11]

ReleaseEdit

Following the Chinese publication deal for the Windows version, Tencent Games and PUBG Corporation announced plans to release two mobile versions of the game in China.[12][13] The first, PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield, is an abridged version of the original game, and was developed by LightSpeed & Quantum Studio, an internal division of Tencent Games.[14] The second, PUBG: Army Attack, includes more arcade-style elements, including action taking place on warships, and was developed by Tencent's Timi Studio.[15] Both versions are free-to-play, and were released for Android and iOS devices on 9 February 2018.[16][17] The games had a combined total of 75 million pre-registrations, and ranked first and second on the Chinese iOS download charts at launch.[17] Following a soft launch in Canada, an English version of Exhilarating Battlefield, localized as PUBG Mobile, was released worldwide on 19 March 2018.[18][19][20] PUBG Mobile KR, a Korean and Japanese oriented version and PUBG Mobile VN, a Vietnamese oriented version released in June 2018 and January 2019 respectively.

In China, PUBG Mobile had been awaiting approval by the government for an authorized release, during which the game could only be offered as a public test. However, Tencent's planned release was suspended due to the government approval freeze across most of 2018. By May 2019, Tencent announced it would no longer seek to publish PUBG Mobile in China, but instead would re-release the game under the title Game for Peace; this version of the game changed elements of the original game to meet China's content restrictions, such as eliminating blood and gore.[21] Following its release, a Taiwanese version of the game, PUBG Mobile TW was released.

A version meant for lower-end mobile devices, PUBG Mobile Lite, was released on 25 July 2019.[22][23] This has support for high FPS gameplay on multiple Android devices, and features a smaller map made for 60 players.[24] The Chinese version of the app was again renamed to Peacekeeper Elite in 2020.[25]

ControversyEdit

On 2 September 2020, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology banned PUBG Mobile in India. Following this, Tencent Games terminated all services for users in India on 30 October 2020. On 6 May 2021, Krafton announced the relaunch of the game in India, following the ban imposed by the Government of India. Krafton published the game in the country as Battlegrounds Mobile India, which can only be accessed by users in the country.[26][27]

On 28 January 2022, a 14-year-old from Pakistan shot and killed his entire family. The game was cited as an influence for the murders according to the Punjab police.[28]

EsportsEdit

 
PUBG Mobile booth at Taipei International Video Game Show in 2021

The game supports several esport leagues and tournaments.[29] Each major region has a PUBG Mobile Club Open (PMCO) and players compete in their respective regions until later tournaments.[30] Only 32 teams can qualify out of the many teams that signed up. This phase is known as PMCO group stages where the 32 teams are divided into four groups of eight.[31] Once the group stages have elapsed, the finals are hosted where the top 16 teams play. From here, the teams compete to make it to a higher level of competition known as the PUBG Mobile Pro League (PMPL).[32][33]

ReceptionEdit

PUBG Mobile received "generally favorable" reviews according to the review aggregator Metacritic.[34]

 
PUBG Mobile booth at 23rd Anniversary Bahamut Gamer Party

DownloadsEdit

PUBG Mobile was the second most-downloaded mobile game of 2018, with nearly 300 million downloads worldwide. The game's largest market was China, which accounted for 29% of the game's downloads, followed by India and the United States, each with about 10% (30 million) of its downloads. It was the most-installed battle royale game of 2018, with about 200 million more installs than Fortnite, which received 82 million installs on mobile devices.[39] As of 2019, PUBG Mobile had reached 555 million downloads worldwide, with India accounting 116 million (21%) of the downloads, China with 108 million (19%) downloads, and the United States with 42 million (8%) downloads.[40] As of December 2019, it had crossed 600 million downloads.[41] By July 2020 it had accumulated 734 million downloads.[42] In March 2021, it was reported that PUBG Mobile has accumulated 1 billions downloads outside of China since launch.[43] combined with Peacekeeper Elite (Chinese version of the game) and Battlegrounds Mobile India, the game has a total player count of 1.12 billion as of August 2021.[44][45]

RevenueEdit

PUBG Mobile grossed ¥3.58 billion ($32.42 million) in Japan during 2018.[46] PUBG Mobile grossed over $3.5 billion in revenue by August 2020.[47] PUBG Mobile grossed over $2.6 billion in 2020, making it the highest-grossing game of the year and bringing its total revenue to over $4.3 billion as of December 2020.[48] That figure had increased to over $8.42 billion as of April 2022.[49][50][51]

AwardsEdit

Year Awards Category Result References
2018 Golden Joystick Awards Mobile Game of the Year Won [52]
The Game Awards 2018 Best Mobile Game Won [53]
Gamers' Choice Awards Fan Favorite Mobile Game Nominated [54]
2019 Golden Joystick Awards E-Sports Game of the Year Nominated [55]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Short for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Mobile, and known in China as Game for Peace or Peacekeeper Elite.
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External linksEdit