If a recent rumor is to believed, Microsoft is in talks with the creator of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds about extending their agreement to publish the game exclusively on the Xbox One.
The initial report was published on Bloomberg, which credits “people familiar with the matter” as the source for this alleged development. Unfortunately, there were no direct statements taken from any potential party involved except for Microsoft, who, naturally, declined to comment on the matter.
“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 said.
However, even if this is still just a rumor, extending PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ exclusivity on the Xbox One sounds like a move that Microsoft could (and should) make.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is this year’s breakout hit, taking PC and the streaming community by storm. Since its debut, it has broken all sorts of records and has even been considered a potential Game Of The Year candidate despite it not even being finished yet.
With that level of success, it should be of no surprise that the game has done well financially. According to 38 Communications, a firm which keeps track of unlisted Korean stocks, developer Bluehole’s valuation has increased five-fold within a mere three months and is now worth 5.2 trillion won ($4.5 billion).
And that’s the success Microsoft was trying to capitalize on with its exclusivity deal. As you may already know, PUBG is slated to arrive on the Xbox One later this year and will remain exclusive for a set period of time before it potentially becomes available on other platforms. The first among these seemed to be the PlayStation 4, following reports claiming that Bluehole was in talks with all of the major platform holders to bring PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to different consoles.
If this rumor is true and the exclusivity deal is indeed extended, however, then those on the PS4 (or any other potential platform) will have to wait a bit longer before they can get their hands on PUBG. In the meantime, Microsoft will be free to gain as much revenue as the title allows with no fear of competition.
That said, one has to wonder just how much extending the exclusivity deal would cost Microsoft. As stated before, Bluehole has made a considerable amount of money just from the Steam version alone, and only stands to make more by expanding to multiple platforms. PUBG remaining on the Xbox One for an extended period of time is great for Microsoft, but benefits Bluehole far less. As such, Microsoft could very well have to pay a hefty sum to make this deal a reality.