After months of waiting, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is finally releasing the full version of its Sanhok map on June 22. Coming exclusively to the PC version of the game, PUBG's third map will be 1/4 the size of the other two, which makes it conveniently close to the dimensions of Fortnite. As well as a new locale to explore, players are also being lumbered with more controversial ways for PUBG Corp. to make money thanks to a Fortnite-inspired event pass.
With Sanhok's smaller scale, matches are expected to be quicker and a dynamic weather system promises to cause trouble as PUBG whittles its 100 players down to one lucky winner. Sanhok has already been live on the test servers through four testing periods, but the time has come for its general release as developers promise yet more changes to what the test gamers have already seen.
In a community announcement on Steam, PUBG revealed what makes Sanhok different to its larger rivals and what gamers can expect when they explore the dense jungles and forgotten temples of Southeast Asia. A big draw is the fact that loot will spawn more frequently than on the Erangel and Mirimar maps and there is a brand new weapon fighting the SCAR-L rifle for fan-favorite status. New to Sanhok is the QBZ95, an assault rifle with 5.56mm rounds that can hold up to 40 rounds. That isn't all that's new with the latest update though.
Dubbed a progression-based system with unlockables, a second Steam announcement revealed that PUBG's event pass will also launch on June 22. There will be daily, weekly, and Sanhok-based missions to lure players to PUBG. While it sounds like a great idea, there are some major drawbacks. PUBG's pass must be bought with real-world money ($9.99) and will only last for four weeks instead of the whole season. The event pass will have free and premium options, but those who choose the free options will only be able to temporarily unlock new items.
The event pass was put in place after developers decided against DLC content, saying they didn't want to divide gamers into the "haves" and the "have-nots." Ultimately, PUBG is still asking players to part with their hard-earned cash and has done nothing to address its sluggish and punishing progression system. Adding to this the unfair odds of the loot boxes (which they're also charging for to unlock) and PUBG will need to do more than introduce a new map to win over its critics.
Although PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is still trailing Fortnite in terms of players, Brendan 'PlayerUnknown' Greene is still pushing forward with Sanhok and hopes to keep cashing in on the seemingly never-ending battle royale hype. Players are now subject to gambling-style loot boxes, real-money purchases for things like parachutes or on the Xbox One version, certain cosmetics, real-money purchases for season pass, all on top of the retail price for the game which still doesn't run too smoothly. That sucks.