Keen not to be outdone by its battle royale competitors, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is littering its latest map with a series of mysterious golden crates.
As Fornite has grabbed headlines over the past few weeks with comet strikes and a dancing Thanos, it has sometimes been easy to forget that PUBG exists if you were to just follow the buzz. Keen to grab the limelight once more and taking yet another page from its rival, the grittier shooter is playing Fornite at its own game as PC users test out a new map with a hidden secret.
With the arrival of Fornite season 4, developers at Epic Games showed exactly how to use viral marketing to its full advantage. While PUBG isn't quite taking that tact just yet they did introduce weekly events in recent weeks to keep up with Fortnite alongside a major update. Now, players are sharing images of shiny crates discovered on the new Sanhok map (the third and smallest of PUBG's environments). FastClicker1 seems to be the first to party, sharing the image of the golden chest lurking in plain sight.
Sanhok started out life as a shrunken 4x4 map codenamed “Savage." Scaling back from the usual 8x8 size of original map Erangel and the desert-based Miramar, players have been enjoying the confined spaces and challenge of a smaller and more fast-paced locale. Although Sanhok isn't live yet in the main game, PUBG has been slowly opening up more of its secrets with each PC test period. As well as adding more detail and buildings with each update, fans have noticed more important changes - just like the golden chests. Whatever these chests are will continue being a secret for now, but everyone is praying that it is something more interesting than just another loot box debacle. PUBG is one of the major games still doing random pay-for loot boxes and it's one of the reasons Fortnite is going to continue killing it.
Either way, players can't interact with the chests (yet), meaning the latest addition is nothing more than a golden easter egg right now. It is likely that the chests will eventually open to reveal something big, but on the other hand, Bluehole could simply be trolling gamers as a nod to Fortnite's treasure chests. It may be a way to bury the hatchet between the two studios, but it would undoubtedly leave players miffed that the chests turn out to be a Pulp Fiction-style McGuffin.
PUBG is a flurry of activity at the moment with the various updates and weapon balances, however, is it a case of too little too late? Fortnite has been a literal powerhouse of late, meaning that even some of the most hardened PUBG players have jumped ship for the more colorful delights of Fornite. And there's only more competition on the way with E3 2018 around the corner sure to debut multiple new battle royale experiences. Whether or not PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds can be the goose that laid the golden crate remains to be seen, but one's thing for sure, there's gold in them thar hills.