PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is being adapted into a mobile app exclusive to players in China.
Chinese internet company Tencent officially confirmed they are developing the mobile app via a press release on their website (which Polygon has since translated). The gist of this announcement is that Tencent intends to deliver a mobile version of PUBG that retains the spirit and mechanics of the original game. If you’re suddenly wondering how a company could possibly turn a 100 player battle royale experience into a mobile app…then we’d like to direct your attention to the surprisingly lucrative market of mobile knockoffs. Some of those third-party mobile games are simply inspired by PUBG. Others are entirely derivative.
The one thing that all of them have in common is that they are exclusively available in China. That appears to be the case with this upcoming official adaptation of PUBG. Tencent has not indicated that they have any plans to bring this mobile version of PUBG to the West, but most analysts are predicting that such a move is almost inevitable at this point given the size of the game’s market.
As it stands, there is no release date available for this adaptation in any market.
Tencent’s role in this adaptation is raising a few eyebrows amongst the PUBG community given that Tencent recently led the charge to have PUBG banned in China until it was updated to reflect “socialist core values, Chinese traditional culture and moral rules.” At this time, there has been no word regarding what kind of changes will be implemented in order to make the game more culturally sensitive. Some have speculated that Tencent’s disapproval may have been part of the company’s larger plan to acquire the exclusive rights to publish PUBG in China.
Considering that some of the mobile PUBG knock-offs released thus far have done a fairly decent job of replicating the game – minus the cumbersome addition of touch controls – there is a chance that this mobile version of the game might not be quite as bad as you might imagine it would be.