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PUBG: Battlegrounds is going free to play

The free version of the battle royale game will arrive next year

Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

PUBG: Battlegrounds, which helped battle royales become one of the most popular genres in gaming, is finally going free to play on Jan, 12, 2022. PUBG Studios made the announcement at The Game Awards 2021 on Thursday evening.

After PUBG: Battlegrounds becomes free-to-play, it will also introduce a new premium account called Battlegrounds Plus. This offers players extra currency, a Ranked Mode, Custom Match functionality, in-game items, and other bonuses. The account upgrade comes with a one-time fee of $12.99, but the features are optional to the core PUBG experience

Players who have already purchased and played PUBG before its transition to free-to-play will get a special pack that includes a free Battlegrounds Plus account upgrade and special cosmetic items. The free-to-play version of PUBG is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC via Steam, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

PUBG launched in early access in 2017 (though it was called PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds until this summer) and quickly gained popularity, rocketing up the Steam top games chart. The game eventually made its way to consoles like Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and initially cost $29.99; it still does, until the new free-to-play price kicks in.

PUBG maintained dominance of the battle royale genre until early 2018, when Fortnite: Battle Royale started to take off.