Since its release, PLAYERUNKOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS has been growing at an outstanding rate. Record after record has fallen to the game as it has climbed its way to the top of the Steam charts, becoming the game with the most concurrent players in the history of Steam at over 1 million. Which the game growing so large and seeing so much success it’s important to take a look at the history of the marketplace so far and consider that PUBG may be the next huge trading market.
One of the goals for the developers at Bluehole since the game hit early access has been building a successful marketplace. Creative Director Brendan “Player Unknown” Greene believes a PUBG marketplace is vitally important for the game to remain successful after launch.
When the game launched into early access, those who had pre-ordered the game were given the PLAYERUNKNOWN SET. This Crate was the first release of rare items into the game and quickly became highly coveted as the most-wanted outfit. For those who didn’t pre-order, the only way to acquire the outfit is to purchase it through the marketplace. This has caused the price of the items in the crate to quickly go from the $487 on 4/27/17 to its current price of $1,299.50 at the time this article was written.
The release of the August Update saw the addition of new items inspired by the Battle Royale movie which inspired the creation of the Battle Royal game mode seen in Arma, H1z1, and not the newest and most successful interation PUBG. These skins were added to the Survivor Crate, Wanderer Crate, as well as the inclusion of a new Gamescom Invitational Crate. While the Wanderer Crate and the Survivor Crate were free to open, the Gamescom Invitational Crate could only be opened with a key purchased for $2.50 each. Not only did this update add new cosmetic items, it also added a rarity level for items which consisted of the following, in order from most to least rare: Red, Pink, Purple, Blue, Green, and Gray.
The release of the Gamescom update pumped new life into the PUBG Market. The rarest items quickly grew in value on the marketplace, such as the School Skirt which became the most valued item in the new update and currently sits at $244 on the marketplace. The introduction of the new rarity levels also helped increase the values of the free to open crates, leading to a price increase of the rarer items with the top items such as the PLEATED MINI-SKIRT being valued at $135. After Gamescom, the Gamescom Invitational crates were pulled from the game which made the marketplace the only place to obtain the crates and the skins in them. However, the items available in the Wanderer Crate and the Survivor Crate still remain available in the game to be earned via Battle Points.
While the Gamescom Update was mainly used as a test for the crate system, it also gave traders a look at the direction Bluehole might take with the future of the crate system. If Bluehole continues in the direction of adding limited edition crates to be opened with keys, and the addition of new skins in the Battle Point, it will create a two-tier system which will continue to help the growth of the marketplace. The limited edition crate items should keep rising in price as they are removed from the game because there is no more supply, while items from the Battle Point crates continue to be available and so priced lower. This will close the gap between the price ranges on the marketplace, helping to provide an entry point for traders not wanting to spend hundreds of dollars for a single item. This system will also allow dedicated traders to play the market as prices fluctuate, earning enough through trading to give them the ability to pick up the limited edition higher priced items as they grow in rarity, and allowing them to increase their profits.
With the success of the game, the rapid growth of the user base, and the success of the games marketplace, all trends point to PUBG quickly becoming one of the largest economies in the world of in-game trading. With the relatively new trading scene, it’s easy to deduce that the market will only continue to grow as the game is released and more items are added. This makes it the perfect time for a player to become a trader.