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Ten million and counting: That’s the number of copies of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds that PC gamers have bought since the last-player-standing shooter debuted six months ago. That’s a remarkable accomplishment for Bluehole Studio — especially when you consider that this development group has never made a shooter before.

So, where does Battlegrounds go from here?

We’re already seeing the copycats. Ark: Survival Evolved has a mode. Grand Theft Auto Online has its own take on Battlegrounds, too. H1Z1: King of the Kill isn’t a clone since it came out before Bluehole’s phenomenon. I’m ready for a take that replaces guns and vehicles with fantasy weapons, magic, and dragons, but I’m not sure if that market exists.

Regardless, we’re seeing a trend where every summer, one game dominates. Last year, it was Pokémon Go on mobile. It’s obvious why it was a sensation. It’s the first Pokémon game for smartphones, and it gave people a reason to go outside during the best months to stay outdoors.


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Battlegrounds’ path to success shows how important Twitch can be to your marketing strategy. Bluehole’s game first spread via word of mouth, but it also got streamers into the player pool. The ridiculous videos that spawned from their hijinks got more people into the game. I know I would’ve never tried it if not for watching GamesBeat PC Gaming editor’s Jeff Grubb’s adventures.This snowballed, helping the title surge past Valve’s juggernaut strategy game, Dota 2, for concurrent players on August 27.

Now, if someone would just make that last-player-standing experience with wizards and dragons in it.

For PC gaming coverage, send news tips to Jeff Grubb and guest post submissions to Rowan Kaiser. Please be sure to visit our PC Gaming Channel.

— Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor

P.S. Dean takes an emotional journey with this indie from Italy, Last Day of June.

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