Battle royale games aren’t especially known for their stories, but it looks like PUBG is trying to change that. In the lead-up to the game’s fourth season, developer PUBG Corp released a cinematic trailer which provides the first real official lore for the game — and it’s incredibly dark.
The trailer starts off with a young child on Erangel, PUBG’s first map, who is the sole survivor of a horrible battle on the island. It then skips ahead pretty far in the future, where the boy is now a man, apparently with quite a bit of cash, who organizes the battle royale tournaments on Erangel. It ends with a shot of the man staring at a massive bank of monitors, taking in all of the murderous mayhem.
This kind of explicit narrative stands in stark contrast to PUBG’s biggest competitor, Fortnite, which relies more on environmental storytelling and in-game events. Most recently, a series of events in Fortnite — including the appearance of a giant pink mech — are pointing to a massive Pacific Rim-style battle taking place this weekend.
Expanding the world of PUBG makes sense given that more games in the franchise are in the works. The company recently hired Glen Schofield, known for his work on Call of Duty and Dead Space, to head up a new studio focused on “an original narrative experience within the PUBG universe.” Meanwhile, PUBG creator Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene has similarly shifted focus to a new studio creating new types of games.
PUBG season 4 kicks off on July 24th.