After some real last-minute delays, the new Dune movie is beginning to make it to the world’s slowly reopening silver screen venues. And in the usual wave of marketing hype before a big cinema release, promo campaigns across the world’s biggest games are a little hit and miss. The extravagant ones are making waves on social media platforms for all the wrong reasons, with some simply unhappy that Paul Atreides has seemingly become intertwined with Fortnite‘s bewildering metaverse of superheroes, pop stars, and chronically belching cartoon characters. Those unfamiliar and uninvested in the remake, its legacy, and its source material probably don’t really care either way. It’s a bunch of new cosmetics for them. But for the PUBG Mobile Dune crossover promotion, things are more muted. And less likely to cause a stir among established fans as well.
From now until the end of November, this PUBG Mobile Dune crossover promotion rewards only three things; a graffiti spray, a parachute skin, and a themed frying pan — an iconic PUBG weapon that’s as good for scoring kills and blocking bullets as it is for cooking. That’s it. The event could come and go without anyone really noticing, but it’s there if you want to be a part of it.
The more conservative approach with the PUBG Mobile Dune crossover promotion makes sense. Rather than elaborate skins based on its stars and full in-game storylines, this is more like Dune, the movie, releasing in a PUBG Mobile cinema with our in-game characters just psyched enough that they want to represent the blockbuster with tacky logo merch. Even on the announcement video, there isn’t some otherworldly event going on. No interdimensional phenomenon is dropping the characters of Dune into Erangel. Instead, we see a squad taking a breather and looking on excitedly at a massive movie billboard.
I’m sure some players are disappointed that the PUBG Mobile team didn’t do something to change Miramar, the game’s own dusty desert, into a big Dune event. After all, the Mad Miramar revamp did take some obvious cues from Mad Max. Even the recent Godzilla vs Kong crossover had the iconic kaiju invade every map on the roster. But there’s a level of satisfaction in that participating in the PUBG Mobile Dune crossover promotion doesn’t cost a dime. You can get all of the rewards just for completing some simple in-game tasks.
You’ll only be able to keep hold of the Parachute skin — the pan skin expires three days after use and the graffiti spray is just scrubbed from the game on November 30 — but at least they’re not taking away anything you actually paid for: because you can’t pay for any of it. If you want to keep letting people know about your potential favorite movie, you can keep that parachute skin on for as long as it likes.
It’s not the most effective marketing campaign out there. You won’t be seeing your favorite Dune characters popping heads on Sanhok. But in a way, its effectiveness is left in the hands of the players. The more that choose to complete the missions and use the rewards, the more eyes the Dune logo will land in front of. And that seems better than asking players to pay for a skin that’s ultimately there to promote a massive corporation’s new multi-million dollar investment within a billion-dollar company’s attempt at the metaverse.
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