It's finally happened... sort of. Soon you'll be able to play PUBG on PC for free - although it'll be a pared-down version of the original game, and a standalone product in its own right. Close enough.
Originally known as PUBG Project Thai, PUBG Lite is a low-spec version of PUBG that allows players with basic PCs and laptops to access the game. It was first trialled in Thailand, before rolling out to South East Asian countries along with Brazil and Turkey earlier this year.
PUBG Lite's open beta is now being released on a more global scale, however, with 52 other countries gaining access on 10th October - including the UK, Germany, France and many other European states. Still no USA though - sorry Americans.
Pre-registration for the adaptation has already begun, and signing up before 6am on 8th October will get you free M416 and AKM weapon skins. If you're super keen, you can download the launcher over here.
Apart from the lower hardware requirements, PUBG Lite apparently offers the same core experience as the full-fat version, although it does come with a unique 4v4 mode (four squads of four players, if you were wondering). The description says this will take place in a "deserted warehouse surrounded by old shipping containers and vehicles, allowing each of the teams the chance to skillfully outmaneuver each other on their quest to become the first squad with 40 eliminations". Shipping containers and vehicles? Sounds like PUBG.
Of course, a battle royale obviously requires seasons and battle passes. As part of this PUBG Lite is offering a free Lite Pass, which provides "completable missions" and in-game item rewards. For players wanting to splash their cash, there's a paid level above this called Lite Pass: Premium, and then another on top of that called Lite Pass Premium Plus, which apparently offers even more rewards.
Alongside the variety of season passes, PUBG Lite's also getting Collector's Crates and Special Crates, which (amongst other items) can be purchased using a new in-game currency called L-Coin. Judging by the description over here, it looks like this is the premium currency companion to Battle Points, which can be earned in-game.
Given Fortnite's huge success as a free-to-play title, it's unsurprising that PUBG has (sort of) followed suit - and this version should allow the game to reach audiences previously locked out by relatively high PC requirements. It's a good way for players to test-drive PUBG before buying the full version, and by creating a completely separate version instead of making regular PUBG free-to-play, in theory this should avoid aggravating players who paid full-price for the original. In theory.