PUBG Mobile is looking to expand its presence in North America, and part of its plans to do so is the PUBG Mobile New Mexico Bowl.
On December 18, Fresno State will take on the University of Texas at El Paso in the annual New Mexico Bowl. And this year, the wildly popular battle royale title is set to be the title sponsor of the event.
The move to grow PUBG Mobile in a distinctly American market may be a surprising one. Enthusiasm surrounding PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds boomed in 2017 and evaporated almost completely as Fortnite Battle Royale was launched and grew to become a pop culture phenomenon. PUBG Mobile suffered a similar fate in the North American marketplace, but had never hit the heights of the PC original to begin with.
Despite that, PUBG Mobile has been overwhelmingly popular in the South Asian and Southeast Asian regions. The game is a phenomenon in a sizable chunk of the world, to the point that it has received the same sort of absurd attention Grand Theft Auto previously has in the west regarding addictiveness and potentially destroying the moral fabric of society. Unlike GTA, this has actually led to PUBG Mobile being banned in certain countries.
PUBG Mobile garnered attention when it was caught up in a major political firestorm between India and China. The two countries have been militarily posturing at one another over the last three years, something that has seen India crack down on Chinese tech within its borders. India banned a long list of apps developed in China, including PUBG Mobile.
These troubles have been compounded by further issues in China, with the government increasing the stringency of regulations regarding mobile games. These efforts have become progressively more focused on PUBG Mobile developer Tencent Games.
With these issues piling up, it may be that Tencent is looking to make a push into relatively untapped markets.