The uniquely named PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has already sold 2 million copies despite it still on its soft launch under the Early Access program of Steam.
At $30 each, the survival shooter has already amassed revenue of $60 million, which is not bad for a game that has not yet even officially released yet. Why is PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds skyrocketing in popularity?
'PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds': A Fight To The Death
In PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, players are dropped in an island where they must survive against 100 other players. The game follows a similar style as the Hunger Games, but it requires less muscle and more wits and skills to come out as the only survivor.
All games start out with players finding themselves grouped with 100 other people in a plane. They can jump out of the plane at any time to parachute onto an abandoned island, equipped with absolutely nothing but their clothes.
Players often spend the first several minutes looking for anything that they can use, whether that be a weapon, armor, vehicle, or a good hiding spot. Players can search through the island's many structures, looting buildings and homes for supplies to attack others or defend themselves. In addition, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds notches up the realism by giving players access to limited rounds of ammunition and limited health.
One of the central ideas in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is the white circle on the game's map. Players should remain inside the white circle at all times, because if they wander outside, they will likely be killed off by a bomb. The circle is also shrinking, which forces players to come together and ramp up the action as time passes.
Each game is filled to the brim with tension, starting from the moment players scramble for weapons until the final minutes when the white circle has bunched all remaining survivors close together for a final showdown.
The Popularity Of 'PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds'
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds sold 2 million copies just five weeks after being added to Steam's Early Access program. It is also currently the third most-watched game on video game streaming service Twitch, behind League of Legends and Hearthstone and in front of DOTA 2 and Overwatch.
A testament to the growing popularity of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is through its recently concluded charity invitational. The tournament was able to raise about $120,000, with $100,000 matched by developer Bluehole Studios, raising the total collected proceeds to around $220,000. The donations will support Gamer Outreach, a charity that brings the joy of video games to children being treated in hospitals.
The game is currently only available on PC. However, Brendan Greene, the game's creative director, said that there is already a team working to bring the game to the Xbox One. The goal is to be able to release PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds to both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but there is no time frame yet.
Greene, also known as PlayerUnknown (hence the game's title), also said that the game will introduce monetization in the future, allowing players to receive or purchase loot crates for unlocking cosmetic upgrades. This will probably happen in the later stages of the game.