Microsoft Shooting For Longer ‘PUBG’ Xbox One Exclusivity

A hero image for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG).

Microsoft already has the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Xbox One exclusivity wrapped up for the end of this year and some time into 2018. However, a new report Tuesday suggests the console maker is looking to extend this exclusivity deal even longer.

Sources with Bloomberg report that Microsoft is in talks with Bluehole Inc to extend the timed Xbox One exclusivity agreement for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). It’s unclear what the current exclusivity arrangement is, but the outlet throws out a three-month figure with Microsoft attempting to get the exclusivity arrangement until the middle of next year or longer.

In truth, the current exclusivity timeline likely depends on how long PUBG spends in Xbox Game Preview. This is the Steam Early Access program for the console that allows developers to make their titles available for gamers to play before it is ready for official release. This gives the developers the chance to get feedback on bugs, gameplay, and features while also earning some revenue ahead of schedule.

PUBG is expected to be officially released on the PC by the end of this year with the Xbox One Game Preview release happening around the same time. A game with a huge following and demand is critical for Microsoft this year, as previously covered. The console’s list of big name AAA exclusives for the holiday 2017 is scarce thanks to a series of delays and cancellations.

Sneaking up on a house in PUBG.

Bluehole’s Battle Royale shooter could be just the hot title the console needs thanks to its already over 10 million in sales on Steam in just over nine months. Xbox Head Phil Spencer thinks PUBG could be “very big” on Xbox One similar to how Minecraft exploded in popularity when it first came to Xbox 360.

This kind of draw for the Xbox One is important to the console so it can maintain some kind of sales pace with Sony’s PlayStation 4. Additionally, it gives Microsoft a new and hot title to entice gamers to upgrade to the Xbox One X due out in November.

It’s unlikely Microsoft could make PUBG a permanent exclusive without purchasing Bluehole, Inc. The fact that other big money companies like Tencent are also negotiating with Bluehole for PUBG publishing rights pushes the price tag up extremely high.

Official news on the PUBG exclusivity arrangement for the Xbox One will have to wait as Microsoft is not commenting on the report. “Right now, the team is solely focused on bringing the best game possible to Xbox One and PC. We have nothing further to announce at this time,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg.

[Featured Image by Bluehole]