PUBG: A Game and its Path to Fame

This week PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds reached a new high for both itself and as a Steam game, a whopping 1,348,374 players on simultaneously. This player number puts PUBG in very rare company, only Dota 2 has over 1 million peak players. With a new update adding a foggy map setting and some bug fixes and a huge gameplay update on the horizon, PUBG is setting up to be the new king of Steam.


PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been out for around 7 months now and its player count is staggering. The game in its first four months alone gained a total of 207,000 new players and the following two months alone brought in more than 256,000 new players. In the week leading up to PUBG overcoming Dota 2, PUBG had over 1 million players on everyday, each day the number grew! These numbers are staggering, no game has ever done this, at least this fast.  PUBG continues to grow each and every day. PUBG crushed Dota 2’s highest peak of 1,291,328 on September 16th, 2017. PUBG will become the first non-valve game to sit as the #1 Highest played game. But how did this seemingly small game grow so large, so fast?

Doing some more sleuthing to comprehend these impressive numbers PUBG is putting up, I compared it to that of Dota 2 and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds counterpart, H1Z1: King of the Hill. Looking at the data, once PUBG had the same peak as H1Z1, H1Z1 continued its downward player count and PUBG went straight for Dota 2. Did we mention that was two months into  PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds existence? Furthermore at that intersection we notice Dota 2 trend upwards a bit but slowly begin a downwards dip and Dota 2 hasn’t really recovered since then. Dota 2 has always held the title of the most played game on steam since its release and many gamers are always on (about and average of 500,000 daily per month).

Looking at PUBG as a whole, it started as a mod for ARMA 3 and eventually got picked up by Bluehole, a Korean gaming studio. With Bluehole’s (and a few others) help, the game became a standalone early access game on the Steam Market in early March, 2017. From here the rest was history. People began to hail PUBG as a newer H1Z1, and started to flock to the game. Streamers began to pick up the game and that helped secure PUBG’s spot as a main Steam game. With the Twitch community’s support, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was not only able to land itself an invitational tournament back in August, but also increase the player count drastically. The tournament saw both professional teams and regular players come together taking a shot at a prize pool of $350,000.

Looking at both the numbers and what the developers have in store for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the game doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. The developers wish to take careful steps in setting up PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to be a major esports game, carefully sorting out bugs and all.

Purchase PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on Steam here


History of PUBG

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