PUBG MOBILE is a hit on smartphones because it isn’t a mobile game, it’s a PC game


Since 2018 started, PUBG has scaled up on the popularity charts. The online battle royale game has now become a household name, with the developers hosting special events to bring together the best players on the platform. The developers made sure that PUBG is accessible widely to as many people as possible and therefore, launched the game on three major platforms – PC, consoles and mobile. The PC version raked in high praise from gamers around the world for the kind of gameplay it offered and hence created a community to help it improve further.

However, when Tencent Games launched the official version of the game for Android and iOS earlier this year, little they knew that the game would dictate the smartphone market’s dynamics. The game quickly started grabbing high download numbers and was successful in retaining the existing players. Over the months, the game continued to improve with new features as well as updated gameplay content to keep the players happy. Even to this day, the PUBG MOBILE is going strong and with the imminent arrival of the winter update — that Vikendi Snow Map — the developers have kept the players looking forward to something new on the platform.

Therefore, a question that often comes up is – why has PUBG MOBILE gained enormous popularity? In my short history with the world of smartphones, I know that only few games such as Angry Birds, Subway Surfers, Candy Crush and some others have enjoyed massive popularity but the PUBG MOBILE is now on the verge to overtake them as one of the best online games on the mobile platform. However, PUBG falls into a category that is different from the ones that I mentioned above. It’s one of the few games that carries the legacy of its PC or console version and therefore, has to feel like the actual one. And this is where the developers got the concept right.

Console and PC quality on smartphones

The developers got the concept of the game right from the beginning. Unlike other games of its category that try to offer a watered-down experience suited for small screens, PUBG MOBILE offers the same experience you would get to enjoy on the PC and console versions. The concept of the gameplay remains the same, with 100 players jumping into an abandoned world without ammunition. Both the versions let the player gather weapons and clothes. Both the versions force the player to fight it out fairly against a mix of real human and bots. Both the versions let friends get together to battle the world by employing clever strategies. And both the versions reward equally at the end of the match.

At the same time, the quality of gameplay and graphics is very high, somewhat similar to what you get with consoles or some of the PC games.

This is what players on the mobile platform have been craving for ages. There always had been a demand for a game where friends can battle it out together against the world for shorter duration matches. These days, our smartphones and tablets have become powerful enough to compute as many processes as a moderately powerful console. Therefore, developers now have the means to bring most of what they envisioned for the players of the mobile platform. With PUBG MOBILE, PUBG Corporation made sure that the gameplay experience remained more or less the same.

Before the PUBG era, Electronic Arts’ popular Need For Speed series got mobile versions of the game and most of them delivered a limited experience as compared to the console or PC version. And since the development was done from scratch, all the Need for Speed games, except for the Need For Speed No Limits, were paid games. Similarly, when Rockstar Games planned to bring the Grand Theft Auto franchise to the mobile platforms, they could only bring the old titles with reduced graphics and conserved gameplay abilities. Even Codemasters’ latest F1 Mobile Racing brings a rather watered down experience of the actual version from the PC and consoles.

With PUBG MOBILE, there’s hardly any compromise. You get to play around the same map that exists on the console version. The immaculate audio design from the console version makes its way to the mobile iteration, thereby making it interesting for players to get a very realistic experience. The gameplay physics are also very realistic — previously unheard of in a mobile game. You get to roam around in the same vehicles as the full-blown PC version. You get to enjoy a massive number of seasonal outfits as well as the rewards. And best of all, you get to enjoy all the latest updates on par with the players on the console version.

To sum it up, PUBG MOBILE offers the same unique and unadulterated experience as the console version. This has even helped the game scale popularity in countries like India, where people have smartphones but not consoles and gaming computers.

By not distinguishing between the mobile version and the PC versions, the developers have made for a game that truly brings the uniform experience across all devices. Not many developers have tried that before and it will remain to be seen whether any other game in the near future achieves this feat. Until then, PUBG MOBILE will keep retaining its spot in the market and will continue to be the common place where one can employ strategies and battle it out with friends against several millions of their counterparts.