PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds just cut off it’s own foot
PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds has sold a lot of copies, shooting it into the fourth most played game on Steam, right under CS:GO and Payday 2. This coveted spot is largely due to the competitive nature, subculture, and so on created around the game. Blah, blah, blah.
You already knew that. PUBG, however, just made a fatal error.
If you’ve browsed the Steam Summer sale, you have noticed PUBG hanging around, but not marked down. This, if not corrected, will cut off the foot of the community surrounding PUBG.
Let’s consider the three games sitting above for a moment and take some lessons from them. DOTA 2 can be nixed since it’s free to play, so that leaves us with CS:GO and Payday 2.
Let’s start with CS:GO. While marked down a third of the total cost, the game has traditionally been marked down by 50% during sales. A quick look at SteamDB confirms that massive jumps in owners came from two places, one being sales and the other being major e-sports events. While the player base was large from CS: GO initially, it was grown and maintained through sales and events.
Now, onto Payday. Same thing, marked down by 50-75% every sale, but there’s something more interesting here. Payday has hosted a massive number of free weekends. Unsurprisingly, SteamDB once again confirms that there is a spike in players to commemorate each of these events, with sales falling in between to boost player count. In fact, Payday 2 saw a massive growth just last week when Overkill decided to give 5 million copies away.
So, that leaves us with PUBG, a game still very much in its infancy. SteamDB shows a steady climb in gamers, with small peaks at odd intervals. From launch, everything has been business as usual.
However, the issue will come down the line where players will lose interest and stop clicking on the button to purchase PUBG. The lack of a sale is going to hurt the game, especially if trying to maintain the spot at the top.
As so clearly demonstrated by CS:GO and Payday 2 (which have been at the top for awhile), there needs to be constant incentive to keep a game relevant. Relying on a good game that’s fun unfortunately is not enough to keep player counts high in the very competitive space at the top.
While it isn’t the end of the world, let’s hope this isn’t a trend for PUBG.