A screenshot from PUBG: Battlegrounds. | Image: Krafton

The original PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (aka PUBG) is moving to a free-to-play model beginning January 12st, 2022, developer Krafton announced at The Game Awards Thursday.

PUBG has been a paid game since it launched on Steam in early access in 2017. It quickly became a huge hit, and it was such a sensation that it inspired Epic Games to make a free battle royale mode for its (at the time) new tower defense game called Fortnite. Fortnite: Battle Royale has since gone on to become an entertainment juggernaut, likely in part because it’s free, and Activision Blizzard has also released its own massively popular free-to-play battle royale shooter, Call of Duty: Warzone.

Although PUBG will soon be free-to-play, there will still be some…

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