PUBG sells 6 million copies -- and seems to be accelerating

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds -- imagine "The Hunger Games" with guns -- is burning up the charts.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
2 min read

A buggy, unfinished game will have its very own ESL tournament with $350,000 in prizes next month. 

For most incomplete games, that'd be unthinkable -- but this is PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), the early-access game that's been topping the Steam PC gaming sales charts practically nonstop since its debut in March. (It's a last-man-standing survival title that's like playing "The Hunger Games," but with guns.)

Today, developer Bluehole Studio announced that PUBG has now sold over 6 million copies in just four months. And while that's a feat on its own, the bigger picture is that PUBG seems to be accelerating in popularity. 

Update, September 2017: 10 million. See our new chart here.

Take a look at this chart:

Sean Hollister/CNET

It's possible sales may slow now -- particularly if the recent boost was because people gave up waiting for the game to go on sale. (It was the top-selling title throughout Steam's Summer Sale -- even though it wasn't discounted at all.)

But for now, it's the single most-watched game on Twitch, and remains the #3 most-played game on Steam, only behind Counter-Strike Global Offensive and DOTA2. Plus, it's coming to Xbox One later this year. 

Speaking of that tournament: It'll be at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany from August 23-26, and broadcast live each day. To help pay for that prize pool (and divert some funds to charity), the game will be offering custom unlockable crates with new cosmetic items for PUBG characters, which'll cost $2.50 each, as well as two new traditional crates with clothing inspired by the Japanese film "Battle Royale" -- which was itself the inspiration for this game.


One of the new "Battle Royale"-themed costumes that'll be available in PUBG.

Bluehole Studio

An August 3 patch will also bring a new field-of-view slider for the game's first-person view mode, allowing players to have a little more peripheral vision to help see threats, and a new rifle.

Here's our complete beginner's guide to PUBG.