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PUBG has 80,000 more daily players since switching to free-to-play

Player Unknown's Battlegrounds first person view bot kill
(Image credit: PUBG Corporation)

Since going free-to-play, PUBG: Battlegrounds - the official name for the game some of us used to know as PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - has amassed over 80,000 new daily players.

PUBG Battlegrounds developer Krafton confirmed the news in its latest financial report (opens in new tab), stating that the PUBG IP - which includes its mobile iteration, New State Mobile, which has "continued to evolve" and has also increased total play time and play frequency - has "helped drive Krafton's global growth as it looks towards the release of the Callisto Protocol and Unknown Worlds' new IP later in 2022".

Krafton believes it's switching to the free-to-play model back in January that has helped the battle royale shooter clock up more players, as well as the "stricter anti-cheat programs" that aim "to ensure a fairer playing field for all".

"PUBG: Battleground, which is available on PC and consoles, recently celebrated its fifth anniversary," Krafton said in a press statement. "The game, which transitioned to a free-to-play business model in January 2022, has seen a steady inflow of more than 80,000 new users per day.

"Accordingly, average revenue per user (ARPU) across all platforms increased more than 20 per cent [quarter on quarter]. International markets (outside South Korea) drove 94 per cent of the game’s revenue during Q2 2022."

Krafton recently revealed it's teaming up with Ubisoft for a new Assassin's Creed-themed crossover in PUBG Battlegrounds later this month (opens in new tab).

Did you know that The Callisto Protocol (opens in new tab) was ultimately separated from the PUBG universe because the team at developer Striking Distance felt the connection had become "disingenuous" (opens in new tab)? Talking to GamesRadar+, Glen Schofield opened up about the game's surprising relationship with PUBG during a recent interview, which explored how The Callisto Protocol evolved when it felt "too much like Dead Space (opens in new tab)". 

Krafton also recently announced that it has "begun active development" on a new project based upon the Korean fantasy novel, The Bird That Drinks Tears (opens in new tab).

"This ambitious project aims to bring the original fantasy universe of The Bird That Drinks Tears to life through its unique and refreshing fantasy races, beautiful, haunting landscapes, and gripping, immersive, and poignant stories," Krafton explains on the game's newly-launched website. 

PUBG: Battlegrounds may be free-to-play but it hasn't gotten any easier (opens in new tab) to play for newcomers.

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GameIndustry.biz. Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.