PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds was once the undisputed king when it came to battle royale games, and broke a number of Steam concurrent player records at the height of its popularity. Due to stiff competition from Fortnite, Black Ops 4, and other issues, however, PUBG started to lose some of its fans. But now PUBG is starting to make a concurrent player count comeback, which may be partly attributed to the addition of the Vikendi snow map, which will be making its way to the console versions of the game soon.
Originally revealed at The Game Awards 2018, Vikendi is a 6x6 snow map that has been live on PC since last month. Console players have been able to test Vikendi using the game's test servers, but the map will launch on PS4 and Xbox One proper on January 22. This means PUBG fans on console have less than a week to go before Vikendi is added to the map rotation.
The Vikendi snow map has proven to be popular with PUBG fans (earning far less ill-will than the Miramar desert map, at any rate). The snow map has some unique features that help it stand out from the other PUBG map offerings, such as the ability to track other players' movements by following footprints in the snow, as well as access to a snowmobile vehicle.
The Vikendi snow map may be partially responsible for PUBG's concurrent player count resurgence, but there may be other factors at play as well. One big reason why PUBG may be mounting a battle royale comeback could be its launch on PS4, after having previously been console-exclusive to the Xbox One. By releasing on the PS4, PUBG has greatly increased its potential playerbase, attracting new fans in the process.
PUBG Mobile may also be given credit for PUBG's continued popularity. The mobile version of the game has been notable for its technical smoothness when compared to other mobile battle royale games, and has even been nominated for some awards. Several critics have pointed out how PUBG Mobile successfully translated the battle royale experience to mobile devices, whereas other battle royale games have struggled in that regard.
Moving forward, PUBG fans can expect the game to continue growing through more maps and other content across all its platforms.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is out now for iOS, Android, PC, PS4, and Xbox One.