PUBG experiences massive player growth after switching to free-to-play model


In brief: Krafton in December announced plans to transition PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to a free-to-play (F2P) model on January 12, 2022. The developer kept its promise and based on early data, it seems as though the company made the right decision.

Krafton said that in the week following the F2P transition, the game saw a 468 percent increase in new players. In some regions, such as Southeast Asia and South America, new user growth reached 537 percent.

What’s more, the average playtime on PC and consoles increased by 100 percent week-over-week compared to the week prior to the F2P switch. On PlayStation, players logged a 400 percent increase in playtime.

During the transition, PUBG was also the top-ranked game on Steam, we’re told.

PUBG arrived on Steam Early Access in 2017 and led the charge in popularizing the battle royale genre. More than 75 million copies of the game were sold across PC and consoles, putting it at number five among the best-selling games of all time behind heavyweights like Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto V, Tetris and Wi Sports.

Krafton is hoping to keep the momentum going through giveaways. Gamers that play PUBG for at least an hour between 4 p.m. Pacific on January 28 and 3:59 p.m. Pacific on January 30 will receive a special reward for each day they “check in.” Additional details can be found over on the PUBG press site.

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