The biggest game of 2017, “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (“PUBG”), won’t arrive on PlayStation 4 until some point in mid-to-late 2018.
That’s according to a new report from Bloomberg, citing “people familiar with the matter” who say Microsoft is currently in talks with the game’s creators to keep it exclusive to the Xbox One for longer than usual.
The standard terms of an exclusivity agreement tends to be three months, so extending that deal could mean six months or more in total — meaning that “PUBG” may not show up on the PlayStation 4, the most popular console in the world, until some point in mid-2018 or later. Notably, “PUBG” still isn’t available on the Xbox One; it’s scheduled to launch by the end of 2017 on the console, where it will be a “console exclusive” (the game is already available on PC).
“PUBG” is still in production, yet it’s already made nearly $US400 million for Bluehole, the South Korean game company behind it. It’s currently being sold in “Early Access” form, which means it’s still being made but you can buy and play it right now. The game’s only available on one platform (PC), and it’s sold over 13 million copies at $US30 apiece. It’s beyond a breakout hit — it’s the hottest game of 2017 by a longshot.
The game is literally setting new records on the world’s largest game platform, Steam, which over 200 million people regularly use:
All of which is to say that console owners are clamoring for the game on their platform of choice — and many, many more people own the PlayStation 4 than the Xbox One. Over 60 million PlayStation 4 consoles have been sold, and estimates of Xbox One sales (which Microsoft no longer reports) put it at around half of what Sony’s sold.
Bluehole and Microsoft didn’t respond to a request for comment on the extended exclusivity talks as of publishing.
With a new, more powerful Xbox One just about to launch in early November, it’s no surprise that Microsoft’s reportedly looking into extending exclusivity with the biggest game in the world right now — it’s bad news for PlayStation 4 owners, no doubt, but potentially a major coup for Microsoft’s ailing Xbox One.
Get the latest Microsoft stock price here.