PUBG Mobile Will Stop Forcing Players to Watch Ads

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Have you ever launched PUBG Mobile and been inundated by splash ads and videos? Maybe you got in just fine the first time, but an app crash caused a reload that then decided to flood your screen with a long list of in-game sales pitches; new sets, cheap UC top-ups, rebates, or the mystery box with deep discounts on items you never even knew existed. That sort of thing.

With probably thousands of skins stuffed in its databases somewhere, it isn’t all too surprising to see a F2P game attempt to force its paid-for goods down the throats of its millions of daily active players. But the way PUBG Mobile has handled it of late has apparently rubbed people the wrong way for enough time that they’re now pledging to quit forcing folks to watch short, unskippable advertisements.

Mentioned at the very tail end of the most recent Dev Talk Twitter thread — which is actually posted as a series of images adorned with chibi PUBG Mobile mascots. In response to a question asking why “videos that are played for monetization purposes” can’t be skipped, the response from the team reads as follows:

A PUBG Mobile dev Q&A post was made to announce that players would no longer be forced to watch ads.

“This is a very troublesome issue, and we’ve had several intense discussions with our interaction designers. The 5-second video is played because we hope everyone will pay more attention to the meaning behind each design, and we want to use high-quality videos and narrations to make sets and weapons more meaningful to you. That being said, we’ve neglected the impact on everyone’s gaming experience. You will no longer be forced to watch these videos in the newest version.”

Now, it’s not immediately clear what sort of videos the post is referred to. No examples are given, and the question referring to them as being made for “monetization purposes” would, to the average YouTube user, probably conjure up the image of a game-related trailer starting with a completely unrelated ad for the sake of clawing some ad revenue that plenty of gacha games utilize as a secondary means to offer “pulls” without spending money on premium currency.

But with no immediate instances of that ever popping up in my experience with the game, I’m left to assume the question refers to any in-game video that’s attempting to encourage players to spend or buy PUBG Mobile‘s own premium currency: like on a new skin. Which happens a lot.

If that’s the case, videos like the Mirror World introduction or even those that play when picking up a new Royale Pass should now all feature a skip button. Many have from the start, but now they should fully extend to the rest of the game’s own advertisements. Although when exactly the change will come into effect isn’t clear. The “newest version” could relate to a hotfix pushed as the announcement went live, or it could require a larger tweak to implement. Which would likely see it made as part of the bigger monthly update!

Are you buying the idea that the marketing department just wanted more people to see and appreciate the art team’s work? Or is that just the most transparent way to avoid apologizing for forced ads? Not that PUBG Mobile isn’t within its right as a free-to-play game, but you get the idea.

Disclaimer: Fanbyte is owned by Tencent, which also runs Tencent Games, developer and publisher of PUBG Mobile. Tencent also subsidizes much of Fanbyte’s PUBG Mobile coverage by covering freelancer budget costs. Those covering PUBG Mobile for the site have no contact with Tencent, however, and are given complete creative control to write whatever they wish.