The official mobile version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds just got a surprise international launch, and it’s already courting a minor controversy.
It turns out that PUBG Mobile will fill matches with bots as a way to not only give players the full 100-person battle royale experience but also as a way to make it easier PUBG rookies to get into the swing of things and pick up a few easy kills.
I thought it was weird how many players just stood in the middle of an open field and let me shoot at them, but I chalked up my victories to my previous experience with PUBG and my familiarity with the game’s mechanics. As it turns out, I’m just a sucker who killed a bunch of bots.
It will be interesting to see if publisher Tencent and developer LightSpeed & Quantum put a hold on the bots as PUBG Mobile gains more users to fill servers and more experienced players. Bots sort of cheapen the PUBG experience and make winning that chicken dinner feel a little cheap.
PUBG Mobile is free to download, and it beat its main rival, Fornite: Battle Royale, to a full release. However, despite Fortnite being invite-only, it’s still reigning at the top of the free iTunes apps chart. Plus, Fortnite for iOS and Android will support cross-play with PC and console, while PUBG Mobile remains strictly tied to its iOS and Android platforms.