PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG, is synonymous with battle royale. Accountable largely for ushering in a brand new period for multiplayer video games, PUBG is now tackling a special type of problem: rising its cellular model within the West.
It’s no secret that aggressive cellular video games are way more standard in Asia than in Europe or the US, and bringing a recreation that’s already profitable in Asia to a Western viewers is a problem in itself. In September, Esports Insider sat down with JamesYang, Directorof PUBG Cellular, to debate PUBG esports and plans for the sport’s progress.
Yang informed Esports Insider in regards to the significance of PUBG’s new regional professional leagues. “We began professional leagues akin to North America, LATAM, Brazil, Turkey, CIS, and Western Europe, and the viewers acceptance and viewership efficiency has exceeded our expectations thus far. Our latest PMWI 2021 [PUBG Mobile World Invitational] event reached a peak concurrent Western viewership of over 400,000 viewers, which represents an 800 p.c improve in comparison with the PMWL 2020 [PUBG Mobile World League] West final 12 months.”
Yang added that the second most-watched language in PMWI 2021 was English, with an viewers share of 32.7 p.c. In distinction, final 12 months’s PMGC had solely 8.3 p.c of viewers watching in English. This quick progress, Yang argued, is a symptom of audiences changing into extra open in direction of cellular esports, and cellular gaming typically.
Spearheading the cellular esports push
PUBG Cellular is without doubt one of the titles spearheading the push for cellular video games into the West. Yang stated that outdated, skeptical perceptions of cellular esports nonetheless rule a lot of Europe and North America — however there’s positively progress being made. To make cellular video games extra interesting, key gamers are delivering greater and higher tournaments with ever-increasing prize swimming pools.
The identical is true for PUBG Cellular, Yang stated. “This 12 months’s PMGC 2021 rewards the perfect groups with a $6m (~£4.5m) prize pool – an quantity that is without doubt one of the greatest in esports. We are going to proceed to indicate that cellular esports is as large as PC esports, and as entertaining and enjoyable to look at as sports activities.”
The regular tempo with which cellular video games are rising has coincided with extra questions being raised relating to whether or not a cellular recreation generally is a ‘actual esport’. Yang stated that, in his opinion, PUBG Cellular isn’t very removed from being a top-tier recreation. Nevertheless, there’s nonetheless a variety of work to be accomplished if we’re ever going to see PUBG Cellular the identical means as League of Legends or Dota 2.
Yang defined: “We nonetheless need to affect the trade stronger and achieve additional belief for an extended period within the ecosystem. We additionally have to additional be a focus for all audiences and improve the recognition within the Western hemisphere. If we proceed our regular progress and stroll down the proper path, we would be capable to declare our spot as a Tier 1 esport sooner than folks may assume.”
For PUBG Cellular, changing into a top-tier esport is a mission, Yang defined, though he remained secretive in regards to the precise steps the corporate will take to make it there.
Dropping the ‘cellular’ from ‘cellular esports’
In the identical means PUBG Cellular helps enhance the overall notion of cellular esports and accelerates its progress, the rising reputation of cellular video games, typically, helps develop PUBG Cellular as effectively. This isn’t the time to ask questions on how the pie is being divided, however quite a time to work on making the pie greater, Yang argued. This, after all, implies that the sport builders themselves have to work collectively in making all the cellular esports sector out there for a wider viewers.
Yang added: “I’m excited to see an increasing number of cellular esports titles becoming a member of the ecosystem. It would finally result in an elevated dimension of the cellular esports enterprise, in addition to wholesome competitors. We gained’t stand nonetheless in our present place, as an alternative, we’ll attempt to develop even sooner by constructing an excellent bigger esports ecosystem on high of what we have already got established thus far.
“My hope is that quickly we gained’t want to say ‘Cellular’ in entrance of ‘Esports’ anymore.”
There isn’t any doubt that cellular will proceed to play an important half in an increasing number of manufacturers’ esports methods, and the numbers are already exhibiting progress in audiences for cellular video games within the West.
Though Western markets stay targeted on PC and console esports, cellular gaming is slowly however steadily making its means onto the streams and into the handsets of hundreds of avid gamers throughout the globe. Being cellular brings its personal set of deserves, and it could solely be a matter of time earlier than audiences in Europe and USA are bitten by the cellular esport bug.