One of the first mainstream, highly popular games has taken the plunge with adding NFTs, albeit only in a test version to begin with: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds!
PUBG was one of the first standalone battle royale games to achieve wide success, pushing the already growing genre stratospheric. Since its release, there have been a plethora of other AAA titles competing for the top spot, but PUBG remains a “classic” of the genre. What is interesting about PUBG in a Web3 context, however, is a new partnership with Banger.
Now, loyal readers and eagle-eyed Web3 gamers may remember the company KRAFTON making moves towards blockchain technology. KRAFTON is a major games publisher that owns many talented studios and in February 2022 the company took its first step into Web3 with a partnership for metaverse purposes. Then, in March 2022 KRAFTON officially partnered with Solana and the following tweet caught many people’s attention:
— Solana Labs (@solanalabs) March 23, 2022
Banger and PUBG ALPHA
So, what is Banger? It is a white-label solution and ecosystem for blockchain gaming, allowing games to integrate NFTs and blockchain without having to deal with the headache in-house. Banger isn’t the only company doing this — in fact, being a middleman for Web2 games to integrate blockchain is tremendously popular — but anyone who achieves success with it will reap untold rewards and help move the gaming industry forward.
This could be one of the most important developments in blockchain gaming to ever happen as PUBG averages over 280 million players per month. However, this ALPHA needs to be a success and then PUBG Studios need to decide to pursue it further, perhaps implementing it into the primary PUBG client. ALPHA will initially have three game modes:
- Licence to Kill: Mad Max — The more kills, the higher the ranking. Go for headshots to claim the extra points. Your 10 best games will make it to the top.
- There’s No Going Back: Kill Frenzy — Grab your car and run over as many people as you can to get the road kills. After all, the world is ending. Your 10 best results will make it to the top.
- The Guilty Shall Suffer: Ghost Killer — Stealth always wins, especially if it’s with a sniper rifle. The further away the kill, the higher the points. Your 10 best results will make it to the top.
I have a few mild hesitations about this flagship collaboration, but nothing that some extra information wouldn’t solve. Firstly, other than Banger being a “private blockchain”, I can’t find all that much on the tech of the chain (is it a layer-1 or layer-2? Is it PoS? etc.) or a whitepaper. Secondly, I haven’t seen PUBG Studios or KRAFTON discussing this partnership which I wouldn’t say is some sort of red flag, but I’d like to see some official word. Finally, I’d like to hear what this means for the Solana partnership.
Whatever the case, this is an interesting and potentially seminal moment if this sets PUBG down the Web3 path and onboards players to NFTs in the same way Polygon has with Reddit and Starbucks — a strong start to 2023!