PUBG's new map, Karakin, will launch out of the Test Server for the full game later this week. One specific feature has been a big focus of the new map: Black Zones.
Black Zones are randomly designated on the Karakin map. They work sort of like the red ring in the original Erangel map, except that the Black Zones are precipitated with a purple circle on the map and a siren blasting out over the map area, and there's a random chance the mortar strikes in the zone will destroy buildings. So you can't just run for cover in a building and know you'll be safe.
Our sister site Eurogamer recently spoke to PUBG Madison studio head Dave Curd about the new Karakin map. "It all depends on the community," Curd said when asked about whether the Black Zones could ever come to older PUBG maps like Erangel. "We're a game for fans, and if they don't like features we're not going to put it in. So I'm really curious to see if people are like, we want this in every map, or it's more of an interesting experiment."
The studio head goes on to say that "it's been tremendously satisfying to see the clips on Reddit and on Twitter of players running through the Black Zone and freaking out." So Curd isn't closing the door on the Black Zones being put in established PUBG maps if the community wants it badly enough.
Karakin will actually replace the Vikendi map in PUBG when it launches this week. It's a 2x2 km island designed for 64 players, making it one of the smaller and more densely populated maps in the entire game.
The Karakin map is available to play now on the Test Server version of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds. It'll be launching in the full game on January 25, with no release date set for the Xbox One or PS4 versions of PUBG.