Overwatch might be losing players to PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (or PUBG), a battle royale-style first-person shooter. PUBG has seen a sudden spurt of success, rising to become the sixth most popular PC game in the market, according to a Newzoo report.
Rapid Climb To Fame
The game is quickly gaining traction in Southeast Asia and Asia, consistently remaining within the top ten most-played PC games in the region for the month of July. Here’s how PUBG ranked in each Southeast Asian country, as well as the percentage of PC players who are on the game:
Malaysia: 6th place, 6.78 percent share of players
Thailand: 9th place, 9.33 percent share of players
Vietnam: 4th place, 9.62 percent share of players
Philippines: 7th place, 6.17 percent share of players
Indonesia: 8th place, 6.28 percent share of players
In Japan, PUBG has jumped to the top of the most-played list with 25% of PC gamers have played it, surpassing League of Legends by five percent. It’s even more impressive when you consider that PUBG has only been out for five months, having been released on Steam Early Access in March this year.
In PUBG, up to a hundred players are dropped on a map and fight to be the last alive. Every few minutes, the playable map area begins to shrink down to a random location, eventually forcing players to confront each other. Random regions are also bombed at intervals, adding more tension to the game. It’s a simple mechanic, but one that works wonderfully.
Impact On Other Titles
Newzoo noted that the impact of PUBG’s popularity was largest for its fellow shooter, Overwatch. In July, 24.6% of Overwatch’s gamers played both titles, with CS:GO close behind at 20.7%. But nearly 25% of former Overwatch players had moved to PUBG – a disparately high rate compared to other titles.
However, despite its instantaneous popularity, whether PUBG can retain its player base remains to be seen. While many competitive shooters are easy to pick up, they are also hard to master, and PUBG currently does not have that mastery curve.
It would appear that Blizzard, too, isn’t sitting back and watching this unfold. Overwatch has recently added a Deathmatch Arcade mode – a fun fight-to-the-death game mode somewhat similar to PUBG’s battle royale theme – to the PTR, and is set to launch it in the live servers soon.
Top image credit: Bluehole
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