Chinese publisher Tencent has launched one of the biggest PC games in the world on iOS and Android devices around the world. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is now available in the iOS App Store and Google Play market in most major regions.
The free version of the last-player-standing shooter replicates the action and the first map from the original PC build, but it does it with less detailed graphics. I’ve spent some time with the game on mobile over the past week, and I’m surprised at how well it works. It captures the feel of the battle royale shooter that still has the record for the highest simultaneous players on the Steam platform for PC games.
“We are very excited to launch PUBG Mobile on iOS and Android internationally,” Tencent vice president Chen Jerry said in a statement. “We are working hard to create an authentic PUBG mobile experience that players new and old will love. A lot of went into controls and optimization to give players a smooth and intuitive experience.”
PUBG mobile’s release comes as competitor Fortnite has also made the leap to mobile. Developer Epic has launched Fortnite in a testing phase that is invite only, but that has not stopped it from rising to the top of the download and grossing charts on iOS. And Android version of Fortnite is coming at a later date.
While PUBG is now available on mobile in places like the United States, it was in a soft-launch period in Canada for the last couple of weeks. That version of the game reached No. 2 for downloads in that country. But even so, it’s possible that the fight for the smartphone battle royale audience is already over, and Fortnite has won.
It’s worth noting, however, that Tencent does own a minority stake in Epic, so it wins no matter what.
Correction: This story originally said that PUBG mobile did not crack the top 10 in Canada for downloads. It actually reached as high as No. 2. I apologize for the error.