If you ask any gamer what the most popular mobile games right now are, you would get a unanimous result: Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The two battle royale games share some similar elements, like dropping players on a map where they scavenge for resources and fight each other to death, but they also each present a unique style that has attracted millions of players. PUBG, in particular, has received acclaim for its engaging gameplay and creative content, and has been largely credited with breathing new life into the battle royale genre. Now, the game developers are ready to take it one step further by partnering up with the company that is behind what is widely considered to be the best gaming phone on the market – and everyone is eagerly awaiting to see what their partnership will bring.
The immense success of PUBG
The success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which is available on several platforms, has been astounding, but is hardly a surprise. The game has been fleshed out from mods that gamer Brendan Greene, aka. PlayerUnknown, had created for other gaming titles – so it was almost certain that it would capture what gamers crave for. Even though it has made waves in mobile gaming, it is pretty popular on other platforms, too, especially in Asia. Even though Fortnite is played by 16.3% of PC gamers all over the globe and PUBG follows slightly behind at 14.6%, in China, PUBG is beloved by a whopping 52%, as opposed to 1% for Fortnite. PUBG has also captivated 32% of South Korean PC gamers, 31% of the Hong Kong market and 30% of Japan. It is no wonder then that Razer, the company that creates hardware especially for gamers, has decided to join forces with Tencent, the developer that took on the PUBG idea and made it a reality.
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What will the new partnerhsip bring?
The news revolves around a partnership that will foster innovation in mobile gaming, while the two companies are also looking to contribute to each other’s products. It makes sense: Razer is renowned for producing two smartphones that are specifically targeting the gamer demographic, with a third one underway for a while now – although it is rumored that it is unlikely to be released within 2019. Razer Phone 3 can provide an exciting platform for PUBG developers, who might choose to release some of their gaming content early or exclusively on Tencent platforms. They might also explore ways in which they could integrate Razer’s cutting-edge tech, including THX Spatial Audio and its RGB display into new Tencent titles. And of course, new opportunities arise for incorporating monetization techniques in PUBG or other games, based on existing models by Razer. It is also worthwhile to note that Tencent is also partially behind Fortnite, as it paid $825 million for 40% of Epic Games back when the game was still in development – so it would be interesting to see whether this partnership could have a spillover effect into other domains.
PUBG set to make an impact in eSports
Even though we still do not know for sure how exactly the deal will unfold, it is interesting news for the gaming market. Not least because Tencent seems to be on the lookout for ways to maximize the potential and impact of PUBG. Although the game was just released in 2017 and then 2018 for mobile gaming, the PUBG franchise has already tried its luck in the eSports world, recently announcing that its PUBG MOBILE CLUB OPEN 2019 tournament has seen its prize pool increase from $2 million to a staggering $2.5 million. eSports are widely heralded as the next big thing for the gaming industry, with traditional betting providers like Betway already offering odds on popular tournaments like League of Legends, Dota 2 or popular multiplayer FPS Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. That PUBG is trying to get on the eSports train is a sign of success and confidence in its potential to attract crowds and make headlines within the gaming community. A couple of months ago, PUBG also announced another partnership: a crossover edition with Resident Evil 2, under the ambitious title Zombie: Survive Till Dawn. Now, its news about Razer have come to reveal just another aspect of the studio’s exciting plans.
PUBG MOBILE CLUB OPEN 2019 online qualifiers just concluded. We are overwhelmed by the enthusiasm from our players so we got some good news for you! With #Vivo as title sponsor, we increased the prize pool from $2M to $2.5M USD! Good Luck Teams! #esports #pubgmobile #pmco2019 pic.twitter.com/Yb64qQoUbG
— PUBG MOBILE (@PUBGMOBILE) 3 April 2019
Whatever might come of Tencent’s partnership with Razer, the gaming world is surely going through the motions – and mobile gaming is already emerging as the platform of the future.