PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds has taken the gaming world by storm over the past few months. The “Battle Royale” game revolutionized the genre and it has Bluehole to thank. The South Korean company took the game in for development, and now they’ve caught the attention of Tencent who are reportedly investing in the game.
Tencent are China’s largest Internet provider (think Telkom on steroids) and have been part of the gaming world for quite some time. In 2011 and they bought a majority share in League of Legends, one of the most popular esports in the world. They’re also busy developing an esports theme park, so it goes without saying that this is a big deal for PUBG.
No figures have been revealed yet, but it was reported that Tencent will offer financial backing to Bluehole Studio, who initially declined their offer to buy the company not too long ago. PUBG is still in it’s Early Access phase, with a full release set for later this year. Should they achieve that, they’ll become one of the first games to keep their promise of exiting Early Access… cough… Ark. The brains behind the operation is Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene, whose promise to get a full release out comes with substance after he himself had worked on previous titles like DayZ and H1Z1.
PUBG has remained one of the top games on Twitch for quite some time and has already raked in over $100 million in revenue. That speaks volumes about its popularity, but how will it fare as an esport? Coming up next week (August 23rd), PUBG will host a $350,000 tournament at GamesCom presented by ESL. This will be among the first major tournaments for PUBG, one that will hopefully kickstart its esports presence. I’m not completely sold on a Battle Royale esport, but Tencent seems interested. It’s a tough market to crack, esports, but with the game’s soaring popularity there might be a rare opportunity as it begins to tick off some boxes regarding what makes the foundation for a good esport. It has the
It has the playerbase, the audience, and it has its own professional scene, but the developer plays what’s perhaps the biggest role in an esport and PUBG have already hit that nail on the head. Instead of taking the Blizzard and Valve route (pumping company money into competitions), PUBG and Bluehole have instead released a competitive version of the game to established tournament hosts who will take it upon themselves to host their own competitions. This allows PUBG to watch as their flower blossoms and can, at any time, step in and take it to the next level. It’s a smart model, and perhaps something Tencent will perhaps have a hand in achieving, but for now we can marvel and the continued accomplishments from our favourite game of 2017.
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Last Updated: August 14, 2017