Pubg: Battlegrounds Sees Growth Following Its Recent Transition to Free-to-play

The popular battle royale game sees explosive growth comparable to its 2017 release. KRAFTON, Inc. today revealed that PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS was the top-ranked game on Steam during its transition to free to play on Jan. 12, 2022. The milestone was reached with more than 690,000 total active players dropping into the Battlegrounds. The recent free to play transition has not only made the globally popular battle royale title more accessible than ever, but it has pushed similar growth rates to when the game was first released in 2017.


In the week following the F2P transition, the game saw a 486% increase in new players, outpacing its 2017 player growth rate. Furthermore, new user growth increased at a higher rate percentage (537%) in specific territories, such as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Southeast Asia and South America. Additionally, the game has seen significant increases in average playtime when compared to the week prior to F2P, with average playtime on PC and consoles increased by 100% week-over-week while PlayStation players recorded a 400% increase in playtime.

Players have gravitated towards the new tutorials, which include the Basic Training Mode, AI Training Matches and Lobby Tutorials, making it the most-played content during this transition based on internal data. These tutorials are designed to effectively onboard new players and welcome back legacy players who have been away for a while. Additionally, the recently released Taego battleground and the fan-favourite Erangel battleground have been the most played maps since Jan. 12.

In celebration of the recent milestones and the recent F2P transition, KRAFTON will also be hosting a “Check-In Dinner Event” to reward its most active players. Any player that plays the game for at least an hour between 4 p.m. PST on Jan. 27 and 3:59 p.m. PST on Jan. 30 will receive special rewards for each day they “check in.” On top of that, players who check into the game at least three times now through 3:59 p.m. PST on Feb. 17 can also earn exclusive Orbital Vanguard skins. Each week will offer a unique colour variation fans can earn (Cadet Green, Cadet Pink, Cadet Yellow and Cadet Blue) of the Orbital Vanguard skin. Those who collect all variations will receive a bonus fifth colour variation - Cadet Red.

When PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS launched into Steam Early Access in 2017, it popularized the battle royale game genre. To date, the game has sold more than 75 million copies across PC and consoles, making it one of the best-selling games of all time. In the nearly five years since its release, PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS has continued to expand from its early success and evolve with consistent in-game updates, including new maps, game modes and gameplay features. The PUBG brand has also grown into a multimedia franchise, pushing into other ventures such as PUBG Esports, its expansion of lore with PUBG Universe and additional games such as the recently released mobile title, NEW STATE MOBILE.


Additional details about PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS transition to F2P and the recently released Update 15.2 can be found at or on social media (YouTube / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Twitch / TikTok). For further assets and press releases, please visit the official PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS press room.

About KRAFTON, Inc.

KRAFTON, Inc. is a collective of independent game development studios brought together to create innovative and engaging entertainment experiences for gamers across the world. The company consists of PUBG Studios, Bluehole Studio, Striking Distance Studios, RisingWings, Dreamotion, and Unknown Worlds, each with its own unique expertise.

KRAFTON is responsible for premier entertainment properties including PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS, NEW STATE MOBILE, The Callisto Protocol, TERA, and ELYON. As a technology-driven company that boasts world-class capabilities, KRAFTON seeks to expand its areas of business beyond games to multimedia entertainment and deep learning.