The past few years have seen the widespread success of many different battle royale games. Titles like H1Z1 had helped develop the scene, and later options from the likes of Fortnite had helped in some regards change gaming, as a huge number of new players would turn to Fortnite and the BR genre as their primary game. One of the later releases that met the same success was in Player Unknowns Battleground, a somewhat more realistic approach to the battle royale genre which up until this point had been more focussed on arcade styles of shooting and extremely fast-paced content, rather than a slower methodical style.
Whilst PUBG did find initial success on the PC and was able to grow a huge audience thanks to some of the bigger Twitch streamers like summit1g, Shroud, and DrDisrespect, the game would slowly fall off as bugs and seemingly unfinished design choices would take a toll on the game. Fortunately, it was able to find a second life in perhaps an unlikely space for this style of game – on mobile. Both Fortnite and PUBG were able to develop a huge part of the growing mobile esports scene, but it may be PUBG that will change it for good.
Much of the success has come as PUBG mobile has been able to put in place many of the changes that weren’t made to the PC version to deliver smoother gameplay and many quality-of-life updates, and really allowing the game to grow and flourish in the mobile scene. Whilst the majority of players and a large part of the success has been held in the Asian market where mobile games are much bigger in countries like China, it is having some worldwide success too. As it stands PUBG mobile has already led to over $3 million being delivered in prize funds, and with a combined $5 million set to build different scenes within the PUBG mobile space, it’ll continue to allow for a new change and new growth. It has also allowed for other markets to develop, mobile esports betting at sbo.net is one example of a space that has helped PUBG grow. These factors combined make PUBG the biggest game in mobile esports but may also help to change mobile esports for good.
Much of the success away from the mobile scene on PC has been found in infrastructure, as it has been extremely important for ensuring there’s longevity in the esports scene. The changes that have been made in PUBG mobile may provide a blueprint for other big games to follow once they eventually move into the esports space, particularly as other titles like Fortnite have since fallen flat on mobile and PC alike. By showing that there’s a way forward for mobile esports with such big prizes being offered too, it may lead to further investment from big organizations and franchises that are starting to see the potential benefits of esports, particularly as the PC market has been thriving so much too.
That isn’t to say there aren’t challenges ahead. Much of what has helped esports as a whole grow and become popular is within online streaming and broadcasting which still remains limited on mobile, it may be difficult for the platform to see similar levels of growth unless some options can be offered to better deliver content to the viewers. Similarly, as the market remains much smaller and the PC market booming so much, bringing viewers from one platform to the other may be a little more difficult as whilst mobile gaming is much more accessible from a player point of view, it’s much harder to take part in a competitive way.
2021 will certainly shape up to be a great year for mobile gaming and for PUBG mobile as a whole as the gaming market looks to bring offline events back and as the bigger events start to represent mobile gaming in a much broader way it will only serve to help the growth. Also, with more attention both the successes and shortfalls will become clearer to allow the development and change of the space, and to help continue growing mobile esports as a whole.