Following the release of Fortnite on iOS, PUBG Mobile releases on Android and iOS and goes straight to #1 on the Top Charts for mobile games.
On Wednesday PUBG Mobile was launched globally and for the US the day before that. Similar battle royale games already released on mobile including Knives Out and Rules of Survival, bare remarkable similarities and have also been trending on App Store Charts. PUBG Mobile has one up on Fortnite already, being available on Android as well as iOS. According to Sensor Tower, Fortnite on mobile made $1.5 million within the first 72 hours after launch. With over 5 million Downloads for PUBG on Android alone, it’s a market Fortnite is missing out on. The mobile industry is not one to be underestimated, however, it lacks longevity where the hype tends to die down.
So I gave it a go
I did get a chance to play on Android after finally convincing myself to install it for ‘research purposes’. Not going into it with very high expectations for a mobile game, it actually surprised me. It all looks very much like PUBG, just on mobile and exactly how you would expect mobile graphics to look. The interface on screen gives you moving abilities on a thumb pad which is quite responsive. Dragging across the screen lets you change directions fluidly and the handy free look button lets you look around without moving. Shooting also works quite well despite aiming on a phone being quite difficult and even lets you zoom in with scopes. Your inventory holds two weapons at a time and you can easily swap between them on the hot bar.
But is it just all bots?
Something I’ve heard a lot is that in your first few games, most of the enemies seem to be bots. Many players seem to be getting chicken dinners in their first games and wondering why it is so easy. A pattern of the same red shirts seems to be forming. My first kill was a guy in a red shirt that stood there and didn’t hit me. To be fair it is difficult to maneuver your sights onto a player if they’ve caught you off guard. However, surely if I can do it, other people can do it better. The presence of bots could be to help players get used to the game and introduce them to other players once leveled up. Tencent has not commented on this issue as of yet.
I don’t believe I have played enough to have an informed opinion but it’s free to download so it’s worth a try. Unfortunately I feel as though sustaining interest on PUBG and Fortnite as mobile games will be difficult. For current players it may be a laugh or a novelty that will eventually wear off when they start going back to PC or Console. But it is certainly a way to reach the mobile market for new players and expand the fan base of the games.