PUBG Free To Play: Battle Royale Epic Adopts ‘Freemium’ Model

Published: Jan 12, 2022 - Last Updated: Jun 24, 2024

It has been almost five years since PUBG launched, forever changing the face of gaming. It ushered in a new generation of battle royale titles, often being considered as one of the ‘founding fathers’ of the genre. Now, to entice more players onto the somewhat dwindling platform, a PUBG free to play model has been adopted by the developers. There are a couple of caveats involved, but as of this moment, PUBG can be downloaded and played on all platforms for the grand price of absolutely nothing.

However, as we’ve just pointed out, there are caveats. While the PUBG free to play tag is accurate, there’s something of a freemium model hiding in the background. Currently, any ranked or customs matches can only be accessed by paying the $12.99 fee for ‘Battlegrounds Plus’, an optional upgrade.

Here’s everything you need to know about the PUBG free to play update.

Build It And They Will Come

The PUBG Corp. has promised a star-studded month to celebrate what is effectively a total relaunch of its flagship – and only – franchise. There will be mass content drops accompanying the 15.2 platform update, which brings many new features to the game itself. Even after more than four years, PUBG is still a regularly updated title, even if the player count was slipping somewhat before this relaunch.

For instance, although there are some key PUBG tournaments in 2022 yet to be played, the PUBG esports scene as a whole has been unraveling. When it comes to PUBG betting, there just haven’t been many opportunities, but that may change now the platform is more accessible and, by association, widespread.

As soon as PUBG free to play went live, there was a huge spike in concurrent players. At one point, the count climbed past 660k, the highest it has been in almost two years:

PUBG: Battlegrounds SteamCharts
Image Credit: SteamCharts

Following a massive 37-hour maintenance window, as shown by the complete drop-off in the graph above, PUBG was back online and better than ever before. If players had already bought PUBG ahead of the update, they automatically gained access to the Battlegrounds Plus membership, which also included free coins and extra XP boosts. Now, a huge and rewarding roadmap kicks off, complete with new in-game missions, a Twitch drops campaign, and a whole host of new unlocks.

The Battle Royale Scene

Right now, the battle royale genre is hotter than ever. There are more players fighting to sit at the top of the table than ever before, and this move just goes to show how serious PUBG Corp. is about retaining some lost glory. There’s still an assortment of competition, particularly from the likes of Warzone, Apex, Super People, and Fortnite, but PUBG is still hanging on in there.

Super People is a great alternative to PUBG, but it’s almost unheard of. (Image Credit: Super People)

Recently, people have been wondering whether or not PUBG is dying. With this huge update and the massive spike in players, PUBG could certainly recover – at least in the short term. Who knows, maybe this could be the revitalisation that the fanbase has been crying out for?

Grant Taylor-Hill
Grant Taylor-Hill

Since: February 12, 2021

Grant is a lifelong, multi-platform gamer with a passion for journalism and more than ten years' experience in the industry. He'll try any game once, and when he's not playing them, he's watching them, being as he is an avid esports fan.

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