Krafton has renamed PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) to PUBG: Battlegrounds, which as redundant as sounds, may be the key to holding the PUBG universe of lore together. The change was spotted by PC Gamer, noting that the game’s new name is now official across all of its social media. What’s funny is that while Krafton has essentially removed all mentions of the game’s creator ‘PlayerUnknown’ from its social media and title pages on game stores, the end-user license agreement (EULA) and description, on Steam at least, still mentions the player’s name.
The change has not been taken kindly by players, as the Steam version of the game is currently facing mixed user reviews, some of which are exclusively complaining about the frankly non-sensical name change.
Krafton has also recently shown interest in expanding its ‘PUBG universe’, with multiple spinoffs in both games and traditional media using the franchise as a jumping point. The South-Korean developer’s PUBG Mobile equivalent in India is called Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), which at least in writing didn’t have any mentions of PUBG. The new name change to include ‘Battlegrounds’ may serve two purposes – keeping it away from the game’s original creator ‘PlayerUnknown’, and also tying it neatly back to BGMI in a casual sense.
Using just the PUBG name, at least two more games are in the works right now with PUBG: New State (mobile only) and PUBG: Cowboy. The upcoming sci-fi horror game from Dead Space’s creator called The Callisto Protocol is also set in the far future of the PUBG universe, and it’ll be interesting to see if that game’s name also changes to include ‘PUBG’ in it by the time it is released next year.
The new name change can also be linked to the recent social media disappearance of Brendan Greene, PlayerUnknown himself. Thankfully, it looks like the developer is back on Twitter after deleting all of his previous tweets and interactions, with a pretty cryptic tweet to back it up:
— PLAYERUNKNOWN (@PLAYERUNKNOWN) August 2, 2021
“Krafton is actively expanding the PUBG brand through a variety of new experiences set in its universe,” said Krafton in a statement to PC Gamer when asked to be given a reason for the name change.
“Rebranding PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to PUBG: Battlegrounds is the first step in us realizing this vision. Additional titles in the franchise will carry the PUBG name, as you see with our upcoming game, PUBG: New State.”
PUBG: Battlegrounds is out now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One along with being on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S via backwards compatibility.