Earlier today, PUBG: Battlegrounds went fully free-to-play – and the effects are already being felt. While we can’t see any data on how it’s performing on consoles just yet, its Steam player count has increased significantly.
According to data from Steam Charts, PUBG’s player count quickly surpassed the peaks of the days leading up to the free-to-play update and has climbed to a peak of 667,000 players today. This is the highest that PUBG’s Steam player count has been for since May 2020.
PUBG’s shift to a free-to-play model brings it in line with some of its main battle royale rivals, such as Call of Duty Warzone and Apex Legends. All players will now be able to get a Basic PUBG account for free, which grants you access to most of the game’s content. Existing players that had previously bought the game have been automatically upgraded to a BATTLEGROUNDS Plus account, which has access to all content and the game’s ranked mode. New players can pay a one-time fee of $12.99 to upgrade to a Battlegrounds Plus account if they want to try and climb the PUBG ranks.
With PUBG being free on all platforms, the entire player base is likely much higher than what it’s achieving on PC right now.
With extra tutorials being added into the game to onboard new players, there’s hope that PUBG will be able to retain a large amount of players that are trying the battle royale out for the first time now it is free to play.
Despite today’s update resulting in a clear increase in players, PUBG will have some way to go before it matches its previous peak Steam player count record of 3.2 million, set in January 2018.