Over the past week, news that a PUBG Mobile 2 release date might be right around the corner has hit a point where it can no longer be ignored. Just before Christmas, we had no reason to believe the game was even in development. Yet word broke in January that PUBG 2 was in the works for PC and consoles. Players naturally assumed the same was true for a PUBG Mobile sequel, with Project XTRM supposedly being its codename. According to the rumors proposed by prominent leaker PlayerIGN, the game could surface as early as next week, with an announcement and subsequent release taking place at a major tournament taking place this week.
Whether it’s a release or merely an announcement of what’s to come, news surfacing at a major tournament during the game’s anniversary period isn’t too hard to believe. What is, though, is the expectation that a new title releasing around the same time would be a real departure from the current game.
After all, PUBG Mobile 1.3 leaks are aplenty. Beta players are already playing on new maps like Code-C and Karakin, and releasing a full-blown sequel (for free) would immediately dilute the development of what is set to be a major update. It’s part of the reason why the proposed PUBG Mobile 2 isn’t likely to be a whole new download with a new engine supporting things like improved graphics and a tighter anti-cheat system, but a generational 2.0 update: Much like the New Era 1.0 patch that brought the reworked Erangel last year.
Alas, that’s not what the rumors are wholly suggesting. PUBG Mobile 2 is allegedly in development by the team previously in charge of PUBG Mobile Lite — the stripped-down version of the game designed for the cheaper, less powerful devices that make up a large part of the worldwide smartphone market. Lending credence to the idea is that PUBG Mobile Lite updates conveniently stopped as soon as PUBG 2 was announced, with the game’s social channels being radio silent ever since.
A lot of the dreams for PUBG Mobile 2 appear to stem from the idea that a new title developed from the ground up could alleviate the original’s recent struggles in India. Last year, the Indian government banned the incredibly popular game due to political tensions between it and China, where the game was developed and published by Tencent. IP holder Krafton removed publishing rights from the Chinese company in an attempt to relaunch in the region. But despite teasing of an imminent release months ago, the title remains in limbo, unable to convince the Indian government that its initial security concerns have been taken care of.
Whichever side of the rumor fence you fall on, with the PGI.S stage the biggest the game has ever featured despite an ongoing global pandemic likely limiting spectator numbers, there’s enough reason to believe there’s a rather large announcement in the pipeline. Krafton has been working to bring cohesive lore into the PUBG world, and with The Callisto Protocol, a horror title set within the PUBG universe, set to release next year, now’s the time to hear more about how the company plans to incorporate an extended narrative into future iterations.
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.