PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has already made the leap to Xbox and has a mobile game in development as well but PUBG Corp has even grander plans for the franchise. Kim is planning on a multimedia expansion of the brand and has already received calls from studios such as Netflix.
The full game was only released two weeks ago on December 21st, 2017, but the “PC 1.0” version was just another update for some players who have been enjoying it since its March release on Steam Early Access.
Since then it skyrocketed to the top of the Steam charts selling over 26 million copies before the full game was even available. It set a number of records including beating out Valve’s own DOTA 2 as the Steam title with the most concurrent users. PUBG is still the most played Steam game hosting almost three million concurrent players
Over its first year, the development team at Bluehole Studio has added new content including cosmetics, weapons, mechanics, and a new map just prior to the 1.0 release. In the latter part of 2017, they partnered with Microsoft to bring the game to Xbox and successfully launched December 12th. Even without the second map or microtransactions planned for its PC counterpart, it has already been a big success selling more than a million copies in the first two days.
This is just a beginning for PUBG Corp. CEO Chang Han Kim. In an interview with IVENgobal Kim described his ambitious plans for the franchise which include bringing it to more mediums and improving on the base game. He said the team was honoured by the numerous accolades they received at the end of 2017 including several “Game of the Year” titles, but they also felt a little undeserving given the unfinished status of the game and the many outstanding AAA titles that were released this year.
Kim is proud of his team that has grown from 20 people to over 200 over the year and shared some insights into being a Korean development team during the interview. He says there is a lot of passion in their work as they continue to improve the game.
“I assume that it’s probably because PUBG gave the gaming industry something to think about. A title developed by a small team in South Korea sold more than 20 million copies and has approximately 3 million concurrent players.”
In terms of what is next, PUBG Corp continues to expand and is actively looking for specialists who can help them with their next step. Their goal is to grow PUBG beyond the game into a new “gaming culture”. They are looking for people who are not only skilled within the gaming industry but also the “whole IT service segment in general.” This will help them expand into new areas including eSports.
eSports is only the first step for PUBG Corp. When asked where he saw his companies going Kim responded: “We want to take part in diverse industries including Esports, movies, drama, cartoons, animation, and more.” He elaborated to say that they had already seen some interest from contacts in Hollywood and from Netflix.
“Our dream is to build a new game-based culture through various ways like this, and have the lead of that culture.”
A multimedia approach to a game is not new, numerous games have made their way to the big screen over the years and titles like Overwatch actively approach their storytelling through multimedia including animated shorts and comics. Up until now, PUBG has not featured much of an explanation for parachuting into a war zone, but that allows a certain freedom for writers to work with if they plan on making a series or film based on it.
PUBG Corp. has started 2018 off strong and has big plans for it. They continue to refine the game they also have to launch a mobile spin-off to launch and hope to develop an eSports following as well. Stay tuned for more updates including new updates to the Xbox version coming later this year.