PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has been a massive success for the South Korean company Bluehole. So much so that the studio spun-off PUBG related businesses to a new subsidiary aptly called PUBG Corp. And PUBG Corp's CEO CH Kim is focused on strengthening the brand, maybe even helping develop PUBG related titles across other mediums like film and television. At least according to a new interview.
Speaking with InvenGlobal, Kim revealed his desire for PUBG to become a "universal medium" to go along with the main video game and esport business.
I'd like PUBG to become a universal media franchise based on the game. We want to take part in diverse industries including Esports, movies, drama, cartoons, animation, and more. In fact, we received a couple of love calls from a number of developers in Hollywood and Netflix. Our dream is to build a new game-based culture through various ways like this, and have the lead of that culture.
The fact that Kim has been speaking with Hollywood and Netflix content developers is cool. Despite any initial misgivings it's actually pretty easy to imagine what a PUBG movie or TV show would look like considering the premise has already been done in the 2000 Japanese film (and PUBG influence) Battle Royale and later in the mega franchise, The Hunger Games.
Kim also spoke a bit about the reception PUBG has been receiving from players and press. Alongside the Game Award for Best Multiplayer Game, PUBG has been a hit worldwide in regions like Europe, China, and Japan. Arguably a first for a South Korean video game company.
While Kim says that the "ultimate" goal is to have PUBG released on all platforms, the company is keeping with its exclusivity deal with Microsoft and the Xbox. However, Kim suggests that PUBG's popularity might be helping sales for the Xbox and PC elswhere.
I had a chat with Japanese reporters, and they said that it's such an incredible feat considering the title is PC based. However, as you know, the console market in Japan is 10 times bigger, and most of them are PlayStation gamers. I'm not certain if it's because PUBG is being released exclusively on Xbox One, but I was told that the PC and Xbox One markets in Japan are growing significantly. They are also running out of Xbox One Xs, I heard.
Interestingly enough, Xbox One sales in Japan jumped in sales the week PUBG launched on the Xbox from 406 units the previous week to 2,175. Whether or not that was soleley because of PUBG and not just because of the holidays is unclear.
Lastly, Kim says that the team is still working hard on improving the base game. Server performance improvements are near completion, and the PUBG team is looking into bringing back fog and rain with much-needed tweaks to help with player retention. Kim also revealed ongoing work on the new snow map.