Earlier this year Microsoft picked up PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds for the Xbox One, marking its console debut after an unmatched wave of success via Steam's Early Access program. When first revealed for the platform, Microsoft carefully marketed the game as a "console launch exclusive" – an ambiguous term, which pointed toward a wider rollout at a later date.
It now appears that Microsoft has begun shifting away from this phrase, with recent changes across Microsoft's site following the unveiling of the game's Xbox One debut date. The PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds page on the official Xbox site now frames the game as "Xbox One console exclusive" – a change from the previous marketing of the game. This comes after reports that Microsoft was in talks to extend the exclusivity period on its platform.
Furthermore, preorders for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds recently went live on the Microsoft Store, offering boxed copies of the game for $29.99. Once again, images of the retail packaging show the game as an Xbox One console exclusive, rather than specifying that a launch to further platforms could be seen.
So what exactly does this change mean? For now, we'd recommend taking any speculation with a grain of salt. However, explicitly marketing the game as a console exclusive points towards an extended exclusivity deal between the game's developer, Bluehole, and Microsoft. Alternatively, this exclusivity could refer specifically to the Xbox Game Preview release, ahead of the final release sometime in 2018. Or, this could simply be a marketing mishap, failing to outline the "launch" aspect of its exclusivity period.
It should be noted that the game has recently been referred to as a console launch exclusive in a post on Xbox Wire, as recently as October 31. While this doesn't entirely rule out an extended period on Xbox One, it's a reminder to take differing sources with skepticism for now.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is currently on track for a December 12 release on Xbox One, with special enhancements to take advantage of the Xbox One X. What do you think of these recent changes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Updated October 31, 2017: Updated to reflect a recent post from CEO of PUBG Corp, Chang Han Kim, where the game was still referred to as a console launch exclusive.
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