Well, we knew a new PUBG title for console and PC would be launching soon, but back in January we also heard something about a new mobile title set in the PUBG universe – and it seems Krafton has decided to unveil the latter first.
PUBG: New State appears to be something of a sequel to the original PUBG, taking the battle royale into the future (2051) and introducing a new battleground called “TROI”. It will apparently expand PUBG’s lore, allowing players to discover “how the universe has evolved”. I guess you can tell NASA to pack up the Perseverance rover, then.
It sounds like the fundamentals of the original PUBG battle royale will remain the same, while adding several new features, such as a new in-game weapon customisation that allows players to make various weapons with customisation kits. These kits themselves include a variety of improvements such as performance enhancements, fire mode selection and grenade launcher attachments.
On top of that you can now expect “combat rolls, drones, and a futuristic ballistic shield,” along with “massive 8×8 open worlds” that players can explore with some new vehicles. The map itself, meanwhile, has “interactable objects” to help players develop new strategies.
There should also be improved graphics, which Krafton claims will “push the limits of mobile gaming” with some fancy global illumination rendering technology.
New State will release on mobiles and tablets sometime this year, but as of yet there’s no exact release date. Pre-registration has begun on the Google Play store, with iOS pre-ordering set to open a little later.
According to a fact sheet, the mobile game is due to release worldwide except for China, Vietnam and India. The original PUBG Mobile had to be replaced in China by a patriotic, government-approved alternative version, while new games now need to go through a rigorous approvals process. Vietnam, similarly, has some pretty strict regulations which meant Krafton had to create a unique version of the original PUBG Mobile with voice chat disabled and blue-coloured blood (via VN Express).
In October 2020 India also enacted a ban on the original title. This was likely due to border tensions between China and India at the time (and Chinese conglomerate Tencent was, at one point, publishing PUBG Mobile), although the official reason was “protecting user data”. Tencent still has an estimated 11.5 per cent stake in Krafton subsidiary Bluehole, while there’s also been a bit of moral panic around PUBG Mobile addiction in India – so perhaps Krafton felt it wasn’t worth the hassle of trying again.
Meanwhile, you can expect another entry in the PUBG Universe with The Callisto Protocol – a science-fiction prison escape game that looks to be the spiritual successor to Dead Space, which is coming out in 2022. How this fits in with PUBG is beyond me, but it looks pretty good, so I won’t ask.