Tencent started teasing its Android version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), an online battle royale game that's currently dominating the popularity charts on PC and Xbox One around the world. The Chinese tech giant is already accepting pre-registrations for the mobile game, albeit they're only open to players in China. A short teaser that can be seen by referring to the source link below suggests the game will be a relatively faithful recreation of the original, albeit with obviously downgraded graphics. Controller support also seems likely, especially since the gameplay glimpse provided by Tencent appears to feature some relatively precise aiming, at least relative to the average accuracy difference between gamepad and touchscreen controls.
The existence of the game itself has already been confirmed in late 2017 but not many details on the project are currently available. From what little the pre-registration page reveals, the Android game won't be a straight-up port and was instead built specifically for smartphones and tablets. As expected, Tencent is already hinting at a free-to-play business model supported by in-app purchases and possibly even ads. Even though Tencent only purchased the publishing rights for the first PUBG in China, its mobile spin-off may eventually find its way to a global audience. The original game is still supported by Steam but will soon transition to Tencent's own platform in China. PUBG is currently one of the most popular video games in the Far Eastern country that attracts millions of players on a daily basis, according to some estimates.
While Tencent's mobile take on PUBG may eventually be localized for English-speaking audiences and launch in the West, the company's previously employed app practices suggest that won't happen anytime soon. Due to its strong domestic focus, Tencent has yet to make a significant push to promote its offerings in the West despite the fact that it's already investing in various U.S. and European startups such as Snap and Spotify on a regular basis. Even the omnipresent Arena of Valor that proved to be one of the most popular games ever released in China took over two years to launch in North America. The existing popularity of PUBG in the West may facilitate the localization process if one is planned in the first place, but a 2018 release still seems unlikely, especially since not even the Chinese version of the game still has a specific availability window attached to it.