Sony and Microsoft have got themselves into a pissing match, again. This time over Bluehole’s Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). At E3 2017 Microsoft made the big claim of having PUBG on Xbox One as a console launch exclusive, which Microsoft is publishing for the console. Yet more recently rumours have swirled about the game coming to PS4 and now multiple news outlets are reporting that Bluehole and Sony are in talks.
How true is this? Well these news outlets are reporting that Bluehole’s founder Chang Byung-gyu has stated, sourced originally from a Bloomberg article on PUBG, “his (Chang’s) company has had talks with all of the major console companies about bringing PUBG to a broader audience. Microsoft Corp. will launch the title exclusively on Xbox later this year. Bluehole is in talks with Sony about introducing a version for the PlayStation after that.”
Well that’s pretty definitive. They’re looking to bring it to PS4. Increase the player base, get those sales. But I’m hesitant to call this an industry win or a win for the gamers. OK one day we’ll get the game on all capable platforms, but I think the general audience will have moved on.
The idea of exclusivity, especially timed, grates people the wrong way. Not only is there a little ill feeling but games are often a year old when they release to the wider audience. Newer games occupy people’s minds and advertising space. Rise of the Tomb Raider is a good example of this. Currently it’s reached a slightly higher number of units sold on PS4 than Xbox one at 1.73m and 1.54m respectively, as of August 2017.
Rise of the Tomb Raider Global Sales (VGChartz)
Whilst it’s a higher number it’s a much smaller attachment rate. Tomb raider is a big IP with its origins on the PlayStation and I would have expected better. I don’t think it’s fan boys refusing to buy the game. I think it probably missed it’s window of having that mind share. This must have been a bit of a sore point to Square Enix after its deal with Microsoft sold exclusivity and a reach to a player base who didn’t seem to respond well.
We also have a similar PC to console port situation in DayZ and where the fuck is that? OK, PUBG is different. It’s being published by Microsoft yes, on PS4 who knows, so it’ll come to the console a little quicker than a game forever in early access, being constantly developed for all the systems. I can’t see it suffering the same fate as DayZ but PUBG will have competition to worry about when it does release. Fortnite has recently released a similar game mode in Battle Royale which is free, free! And people love it. I see more about Fortnite in my gaming circles than I do PUBG. This may just be new game fever yet what’s to say there isn’t another similar release when PUBG PS4 arrives.
OK, back to PUBG news, well rumours, and back to Bloomberg. Sam Kim reported that PUBG creator and Microsoft are in talks to extend their exclusivity agreement. This is ‘according to people familiar with the matter’. Ahh yes, the people. This just seems to go on and on. I’m sure next week we’ll hear that Bluehole has shifted entirely and Sony has secured all rights to future PUBG.
Currently if you want to play PUBG you can only do so on PC. If consoles are your thing I hear Fortnite Battle Royale is pretty good.