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In the new PUBG update, chicken is for losers too

PUBG: Battlegrounds brings KFC to Erangel

A PUBG character walks away from an explosion composed of fried chicken, while holding a bucket of KFC, in artwork from PUBG: Battlegrounds Image: Krafton
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

It used to be that only the most skilled PUBG: Battlegrounds players could enjoy the sweet bounty of poultry by being the last ones standing in a 100-player battle royale match. But, thanks to a new promotion between PUBG and KFC, any player can enjoy a chicken dinner, winner or not.

As part of PUBG’s 26.1 update, KFC (née Kentucky Fried Chicken) restaurants are peppered all over Erangel, replacing the game’s gas stations. Players can instead fill up — sorry!! — on 12-piece buckets in those stores, a nakedly clever promotion to get people to remember that fried chicken does indeed taste delicious (presumably in hopes that they’ll order some IRL).

Amusingly, chowing down on virtual KFC-branded food has in-game benefits. Eating a KFC Chicken Bucket functions like one of PUBG’s first aid kits and “showcases your character savoring the chicken leg when consumed,” according to the 26.1 update patch notes’ very clinical description of eating. When it comes to sides, KFC fries will function like a bandage (a less effective healing item) while an unbranded beverage stands in for PUBG’s energy drink (increasing a character’s boost and movement speed).

Here’s a peek at what all that fast food consumption looks like in action.

Players who want to get some KFC in PUBG can order from an in-game kiosk, and it will magically appear. The restaurants appear to be unstaffed, which is probably for the best when running a fast food franchise on a murder island. And while insulated delivery bags are strewn throughout the KFC locations, it does not appear that players can deliver a meal to their squadmates (or get tipped for doing so).

The less fun component of the PUBG: Battlegrounds KFC crossover is that you’ll see a bunch of KFC billboards on Erangel, Miramar, Sanhok, and Vikendi, as well as KFC banners on starting planes.

On the upside, you can also wear a KFC chicken bucket bucket hat.

A PUBG: Battlegrounds character stands in a derelict chapel wearing a KFC-branded jacket and hat Image: Krafton via BeliyMishkaa on Steam

If this kind of crass commercialization leaves a bad taste in your mouth, don’t worry — PUBG: Battlegrounds’ KFC promotional event will be around for just one month, publisher Krafton says.

PUBG: Battlegrounds’ 26.1 update is now live in the Windows PC version of the game. Players on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X will get the update on Oct. 19.

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