Surprising nobody after that whole Among Us mode teased earlier in the year, next week, PUBG Mobile will welcome a mode that’s clearly inspired by Netflix’s latest mega-hit show, the Korean thriller Squid Game — specifically the deadly game of Red Light, Green Light featured in its first episode.
Technically a battle royale mode itself, the original “Red Light, Green Light” game that serves as the basis for this new addition is an actual playground game popularized by school kids the world over. And because nothing can stay innocent or uncommercialized these days, the version featured in Netflix’s exciting new show adds guns and a hefty cash prize to the mix. In the bleak world of Squid Game, if you’re caught moving when the ominous animatronic turns to face you, you’re not only removed from the game, but from this mortal coil as well. All things considered, it sounds like the perfect PUBG Mobile mode, and you can imagine the developers are kicking themselves for not having thought of it first.
Get ready for the upcoming React Survival Mode!
— PUBG MOBILE (@PUBGMOBILE) December 16, 2021
In the source material, the show’s full roster of 400+ prisoners are dropped into what is essentially a death prison, a particularly effective way of weeding a good percentage of its participants. Fighting against both the clock and a sophisticated set of long-range motion sensors and machine guns, sabotage is just as much a part of the deadly game as a person’s own reflexes. It’s not clear if players will be able to influence someone else’s chances of survival in the PUBG Mobile mode, but if it happens to include the new carry feature, it’s easy to imagine a million ways it could be used.
Beyond wild speculation, we know very little about the soon-to-be new release right now. The game’s Twitter account has only shared the above key visual. There’s no word on how many players can take part in each match, what’s being offered as a prize, how big the map will be, or if there will even be a time limit to up the ante.
The PUBG Mobile Squid Game mode doesn’t appear to be an official partnership deal. From the lack of a logo to the rather uninspired name, there’s a good chance Netflix had no idea PUBG Mobile was about to come out with something so clearly flung to the top of the development schedule after the success of the show just a few months prior. Another thing that’s strange about this sudden release is the timing. From the image alone, it looks like a late contender for a Halloween feature. And while we’re certainly too late for that, releasing something so ominous just five days before Christmas — when we have heaps of returning modes back this month as well — it’s as if Tencent isn’t expecting this one to have legs now that the Squid Game buzz has died down.
It’ll no doubt pull in players for a few rounds, but without meaningful rewards for repeated victories, expect players to go straight back to whichever mode they frequented before its release as soon as they get their win. Still, it’s worth a punt if you’re playing over the holidays. And who knows: maybe they’ll bring it back some other time with Runic Power skills tossed in for a truly chaotic minigame.
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