Gaming has always fascinated me as a child. The intricacies that went into developing a game and how a keyboard, mouse, and monitor all brought it to life in front of me was extremely intriguing. My school days, especially 11th and 12th mostly revolved around running towards my local cyber-cafe called Bunkers and spend hours at a time or even a full night just playing Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, or Left 4 Dead. It was a joy unlike any other (except for having momos in Delhi winters) and since I did negligible gaming hardware on my own, that cyber-cafe had become an integral part of my life.
For the past few years, I have always been on the lookout for that same feeling of limitless joy where my eyes are glued to an LCD and a controller/keyboard is below my thumbs. My college days were hectic enough for the name 'Gaming' to pass into nothingness. There weren't any gaming cafe's nearby, my friend circle, in general, was not tech-savvy and buying a heavy gaming laptop was luxury I could not afford and thus my undulated passion for gaming faded to black. Until now.
PlayersUnkown Battlegrounds or PUBG as it is more commonly known has been in the gaming scene for quite some time. It's surge to popularity was arguably when it was introduced on the mobile platform to both Android and iOS. I feel that PUBG is the greatest game on mobile there is. Period. And I know that there are several Fortnite lovers out there and the never-ending saga of Epic Games' Fortnite vs PUBG is not going to end. But I blame Epic Games for not bringing on Fortnite on Android much before than now. Perhaps my opinion would've changed, but I guess most likely it wouldn't have.
Recent news emerged about how PUBG for mobile had crossed over 100 million in downloads and this is excluding the massive download numbers in eSports dominant China, Korea, and Japan. Why is PUBG for mobile such a global phenomenon? Why has it become such a common household name associated with mobile gaming just like Angry Birds, or Subway Surfers or Temple Run or even Asphalt?
For me, the answer it would seem is quite straightforward. PUBG's ease of play is quite unparalleled in the mobile world. Add to that the realistic graphics, the interactive environment, talking to your friends in-game, LAN parties and intense gameplay. All these things were mainly akin to console/PC gaming. To get all that in a portable handheld device you carry everywhere is the perfect recipe for ultimate time consumption.
The thrill of getting the last kill or getting a headshot of your enemy from super far off or a massive squad face off while the playing circle closes in is something I have been figuratively, dying to get. PUBG for Mobile is perhaps the most innovative gaming experience on Android and only Mini-militia, which I played for sometime during my college days, came to be the closest thing I can imagine to a real competitor to PUBG.
It's no surprise that PUBG managed 100 million downloads worldwide, to be honest. One can argue that the game is quite heavy and graphics intensive, but its addictive gameplay rules out many of the shortcomings. The recently introduced War Mode itself adds a lot of flavor to the otherwise long format of the game.
Now coming to more important and pertinent question. How will PUBG cope up with Fortnite's popularity? At least on Android, I believe that Fortnite has stabbed itself in the feet by not putting the game on the Google Play Store. The limited number of compatible devices, invite system, downloading from a third party site and other restrictions are sure to play down Fortnite's popularity on the world's largest mobile operating system. PUBG is not operating under any such restrictions as it is available on the Play Store and has a wide variety of compatible devices. Recently PUBG Lite was also released in the Philippines and looking at the spec requirement, it would seem that even budget level smartphones will be able to run the game.
Bottomline is this. I had almost given up gaming after 3 years of solid Counter-Strike and Call of Duty sessions. But playing PUBG has reignited my gaming spirit and in time I hope that PUBG Mobile becomes an even bigger sensation than its console/PC format.