Public Battlegrounds, more commonly known as PUBG, is the original hit battle royale game. While the concept of battle royale was not created by PUBG, the formula that was created from PUBG has been emulated everywhere. Players drop down onto a map, a circle appears, the circle will continually get smaller as the game goes on, and the final player or team standing wins. This formula first popularized by PUBG is eventually what led to Fortnite, Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, and many other battle royales. Of course, each game brings its own spin on the formula to make it unique from one another.
There is one major difference however between PUBG and other popular battle royale games: While PUBG has historically cost money to play, Fortnite, Warzone, and Apex are all free-to-play. That means a lower barrier to entry and more people have been able to get into the game. Despite being the game that started it all, PUBG quickly fell behind those three in the genre. Why that happened can be argued, but it definitely can be argued that the cost to entry barrier was holding PUBG back.
As of Wednesday, though, PUBG is no longer going to have that barrier, as the game has decided to go free-to-play.
— PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS (@PUBG) January 12, 2022
Dave Curd, the creator director of PUBG, claims this was decision was not made in response to the popularity of other games. Curd said in an interview with GamesRadar that the change to move to free-to-play was entirely about their own interests.
“We came to the decision to make PUBG: Battlegrounds free to play because we feel that it is truly the right time,” Curd said. “Our game is in a great place with eight maps, an engaged community and our deep gun mechanics, so this is the natural next step and a great way to introduce more players to our universe. I know there are a lot of people who are interested in PUBG: Battlegrounds but have never gotten around to playing it for various reasons – now is the perfect moment to get started.”