In a new trailer at The Game Awards, Krafton announced that PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds will embrace a free-to-play model starting January 12.
PUBG has been a $30 purchase, a noteworthy exception in a genre overwhelmed by free-to-play games like Apex Legends and Fortnite. Although it stays popular, there used to be a time when PUBG was the battle royale game. PUBG’s early success pales in relation to the schoolyard-dominating Fortnite has become. By subtracting the cost of admission Krafton might make up some of its lost playing field.
If you’ve already purchased PUBG, fear not. In addition to the sort of “founder’s edition” freemium cosmetics you might expect, ranked and custom game types will stay locked behind a $13 paywall, a frugal move but also one that will help tamp down on cheaters trying to avoid bans. Making a fresh account to get around a suspension is a lot less enticing if it costs $13. As for additional monetization, the mind boggles at the possibility for new tacticool leather dusters and dazzlingly colored assault rifle skins.