PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (commonly known as PUBG) is a multiplayer online battle royal video game created by South Korean game company Bluehole for Microsoft Windows with planned releases for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 systems in the future. In meme culture, it is best known for being a subculture of memes.
The game is based on previous mods that were created by Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene for other games using the film Battle Royale for inspiration, and expanded into a standalone game under Greene's creative direction. In the game, up to one hundred players parachute onto an island and scavenge for weapons and equipment to kill others while avoiding getting killed themselves. The available safe area of the game's map decreases in size over time, directing surviving players into tighter areas to force encounters. The last player or team standing wins the round.
In March 2017, PUBG was released on Steam Early Access, where it sold upwards of four million copies for Microsoft Windows systems over the next several months. On March 9th, an official trailer for the game was uploaded to the PC Gamer YouTube channel.
On May 4th, Bluehole held a Battlegrounds 2017 Charity Invitational during which Twitch streamers competed with one another to raise upwards of $220,000 for the charity Gamers Outreach, which "provides equipment, technology, and software to help kids cope with treatment inside hospitals."
On July 26th, 2016, the /r/Pubattlegrounds subreddit was created for discussions about the game, which received upwards of 162,000 subscribers over the next year. The game is a popular title for various notable Twitch streamers, including PyrionFlax, Sophia White and Ninja.
On March 22nd, 2017, YouTuber FrankieOnPC posted a video of one of his first matches in the game, gaining more than 3.2 million views and 4,400 comments over the next four months. On May 12th, YouTuber jacksepticeye released a video of himself playing the game. Over the next two months, the video received over 1.3 million views and 4,400 comments.
On June 7th, YouTuber SovietWombie posted a montage of humorous moments in the game. Within one week, the video garnered more than 2.8 million views and 5,900 comments. On June 11th, YouTuber PewDiePie uploaded a video of himself playing the game, which gathered upwards of 4.4 million views and 26,500 comments within 72 hours.
On April 9th, 2018, the Twitter account for MalwareHunterTeam tweeted the PUBG Ransomware. The ransomware encrypted the infected user's desktop folders and files and required them to play one-hour of PUBG to decrypt them (screenshot below) or put in the code "s2acxx56a2sae5fjh5k2gb5s2e."
However, as experts pointed out, players did not need to play a full hour, but rather only three seconds of the game.