When PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, better known as PUBG, was first released in 2017, it was an instant hit. Within months, it had reached over four million copies sold, making it one of the fastest-selling games in history (SuperData Research, 2017). But PUBG’s success wasn’t just due to its popularity; it also fundamentally changed the way we think about battle royale games.
Before PUBG, the battle royale genre was still in its infancy. The concept, which involves a large number of players fighting to be the last one standing on a shrinking map, had been popularized by the Japanese film “Battle Royale” and later by the ARMA 2 mod “DayZ: Battle Royale.” However, it wasn’t until PUBG that the genre truly took off.
One of the main reasons for PUBG’s success was its innovative gameplay. Unlike other battle royale games, which often featured fast-paced, arcade-style action, PUBG was designed to be more realistic and tactical. Players had to scavenge for weapons and supplies, and the shrinking “blue circle” added an extra layer of strategy as players had to decide when to engage and when to retreat.
PUBG’s realistic approach to battle royale gameplay was a major departure from what had come before, and it resonated with players. In fact, PUBG was so popular that it inspired a wave of imitators, including Fortnite and Apex Legends, which both took cues from PUBG’s gameplay and design (SuperData Research, 2018).
But PUBG’s influence on the battle royale genre extends beyond just gameplay. The game also revolutionized the way we think about battle royale as an esports discipline. When PUBG was released, esports were still in their infancy, and battle royale games were largely seen as a casual, non-competitive form of entertainment. However, PUBG’s popularity and tactical gameplay made it an ideal candidate for competitive play, and the game quickly became a mainstay in the esports scene.
Today, PUBG is played professionally all over the world, with major tournaments and leagues offering millions of dollars in prize money. The game’s success as an esport has helped to legitimize battle royale as a discipline, and it has paved the way for other games in the genre to follow suit (Esports Earnings, 2021).
But PUBG’s impact on the gaming world extends beyond just its gameplay and esports success. The game has also had a cultural impact, influencing the way we talk about and think about video games. PUBG’s popularity sparked a wave of memes and internet culture, and it helped to popularize the battle royale genre as a whole.
In conclusion, PUBG has had a lasting impact on the battle royale genre and the gaming world as a whole. Its innovative gameplay and tactical approach revolutionized the way we think about battle royale games, and its success as an esport has helped to legitimize the discipline. PUBG has also had a cultural impact, influencing the way we talk about and think about video games. It’s safe to say that PUBG has truly changed the battle royale genre forever.