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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds gets a progression system with ‘Event Pass’ this week

Free and premium options to temporarily own or permanently unlock cosmetics

PUBG Corp./Bluehole
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is getting an “Event Pass” this Friday; PUBG Corp. calls it a progression-based system with unlockables that will premiere with the the introduction of the long-awaited Sanhok map on PC.

The first Event Pass is Sanhok-themed and will last about four weeks. PUBG Corp. said it will include “dozens of missions, including daily missions, weekly missions, and Sanhok-specific missions,” the developer said on the game’s Steam page.

As players complete these missions and level up, they may unlock rewards. The rewards are not tradable or marketable; trading in PUBG was shut down in early May by PUBG Corp., which cited sales through third-party sites as the culprit.

The Event Pass will have both free and premium options. Players who don’t pay may “temporarily unlock many of the items,” PUBG Corp. explained, while those who pay to unlock the pass can permanently acquire “a ton of exclusive reward items.”

Also, “your mission progress is always tracked, so you can buy the Event Pass late in the event and still get all the rewards you’ve earned,” they explained.

But the unlock price was not mentioned. Fortnite has offered a “Battle Pass” for its seasons of timed content going back to December, and it’s $9.99 or roughly the equivalent in in-game currency. In a Fortnite season, players also unlock cosmetic items by completing missions, with the option of unlocking more by buying the pass.

Developers said that they had considered giving PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds new content in paid DLC format — including maps — but opted against that as it divides the player base into groups based on who has the content.

They arrived at the Event Pass as a way to bring on a trackable progression system many players have requested. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has worked on its current crate-and-key system for unlockables for about a year now, making adjustments to it and ultimately publishing drop rates to respond to feedback and criticism.