Microsoft became the official publisher of the popular survival shooter PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) earlier this year. While the promise has always been a 2017 release on the Xbox, Microsoft is revealing today that PUBG will be available on December 12th, through the Xbox Game Preview program. That does mean this, like the PC version, won’t be a final edition of the game, but in an industry where a lot of games arrive before they’re really finished it shouldn’t matter.
PUBG is a competitive shooter where 100 people parachute into a map and loot cities and towns for weapons, armor, and other in-game items. It’s then a fight to the finish, Hunger Games-style, while the map shrinks around players forcing them into battles. The game has been available on Steam in beta since March, and has sold more than 8 million copies. PUBG also overtook Dota to become the most played game in August, with more than 800,000 players at the same time. Last month, PUBG also hit a million consecutive players.
There’s still no news on a PlayStation 4 release, despite Microsoft using this week’s Paris Games Week event, which is typically dominated by Sony, as an opportunity to time its news. Alongside the Xbox news, version 1.0 of PUBG for the PC will be available in late December. That does mean that PUBG for Xbox and PC will have separate roadmaps, despite being developed at the same time. “Various Xbox One features and functionality will change and come online over time just like they have on PC, with our goal being to have both versions align to each other as soon as possible,” says Chang Han Kim, CEO of PUBG Corp.
Microsoft is also releasing three limited-edition cosmetic packs for PUBG that will be exclusive to Xbox. While there’s no pricing or exact timing available for them yet, they’ll only be available for a limited time as “there are no plans to feature any in-game purchases in the Xbox Game Preview version” of PUBG.
While PUBG developer Bluehole is gearing up to the Xbox One release, the company isn’t happy about its competition. Bluehole says it has “growing concerns” about the similarities between Epic Games’ Fortnite title. Fortnite debuted back in July as a sandbox survival game, but quickly introduced a new battle royale mode as PUBG got popular. Epic has been referencing PUBG “in the promotion of Fortnite to their community and in communications with the press,” says Bluehole.