What does today’s announcement from Microsoft mean for PUBG’s console exclusivity deal? And how long will it last? Those are the two questions going through most fans’ minds right now after the software giant revealed some of the terms of its contract at Gamescom this morning.
Specifically, developer Bluehole and Microsoft entered a deal for the latter to publish Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds on XBox themselves. This means Bluehole will not be handling the publishing and distribution process on XBox — Microsoft is doing that! Does this mean MS’s exclusivity deal with PUBG is permanent?
Currently, we see no reason to believe so. The language being thrown out is still the kind that suggests the deal will expire just like all the other “exclusive” deals struck with Microsoft. Kotaku pressed the developers for clarity, and got this reply: “The game will launch exclusively on consoles for Xbox One and we’re not discussing any plans beyond that.” Note the language: LAUNCH exclusively. No plans beyond that. This is a pretty big red flag.
So it’s not permanent. But the two companies are just happy to be working together. “Our goal is to deliver the best Battle Royale experience to a global audience and our partnership with Microsoft will allow us to do just that,” said Chang Han Kim, VP of Bluehole, Inc and Executive Producer for PUBG. “This partnership with Microsoft will accelerate the development and delivery of PUBG to console players around the world as we utilize their vast resources and impressive technical, sales and marketing expertise.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to be working with the team at Bluehole to bring Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds exclusively to our players on Xbox One this year,” said Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox. “We’ve been huge fans since the very earliest days, and worked hard to bring the game successfully to our E3 briefing. The announcement of our publishing the game on console today is an evolution of the strong partnership we’ve been building over many months.”