The PUBG battle royale is getting a new lease of life by becoming completely free, which has earned it double its simultaneous attendance.
If you are fond of battle royale, you necessarily know PUBG. The title indeed started the popularity of the game mode, long before Fortnite do it. The only big difference with the game from Epic Games was in its business model. Indeed, Fortnite has always been available for free, while PUBG has just adopted the free-to-play model, since January 12.
This was announced during Game Awards 2021, at the beginning of December. It goes without saying that this announcement had a very positive effect on the gaming community. Available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S and PC, PUBG has opened its doors to an infinite number of fighters who can now challenge each other, in cross-play and for free.
Unwanted players in the lot
This had the consequence of drastically increasing the attendance rate of the game during its transition to free-to-play. Analyst Daniel Ahmad said on Twitter that the title peaked at 670,000 simultaneous players on January 12, and that’s on Steam alone! So it doesn’t even take into account players on consoles, or even on Google Stadia. However, this number represents double the simultaneous attendance recorded just the month before on the platform.
PUBG hit 670k peak concurrent players on Steam today, after going free to play.
This is double its usual concurrent user figure in the past month.
However, the game also received 13x the usual number of negative reviews from people that previously paid / annoyed by cheaters. https://t.co/kX1jmpjawu
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) January 12, 2022
In the same tweet, the analyst does not fail to inform us that this sudden popularity also has huge negative consequences. Indeed, it looks like the game received 13 times as many bad ratings on Steam, from players who had paid for the game before January 12, and from everyone who is exasperated by cheaters.
This scourge unfortunately affects more and more online multiplayer games, and is struggling to be controlled. The move to free-to-play has opened the door to more players, but also to more cheaters. Before its transition, the developers also wanted to thank the early players by offering them the Battlegrounds Plus, the more complete and paid version of the base game.
This version of the game allows you, for example, to join personalized games or even ranked games, which is not possible in the free-to-play version. Acting as a kind of compensation, you can already claim your paid version right now if you are among those who bought the game before January 12th.