Player Unknown's Battlegrounds, that other battle royale game, is going to be free for this weekend and this weekend only. Starting on November 8th and lasting until the 11th, you can download and play PUBG from the Microsoft Store without paying a cent. It's a move that seems timed to keep PUBG fans playing on Xbox before it makes the move to PlayStation next month.
Reports on the promotion, such as one from Eurogamer, point out that the offer's wording implies that this is a temporary demo, not a permanent buy. In fact, The Verge's coverage confirms that the game will only be playable for free for the weekend. After the 11th, it'll go back to its $29.99 price.
The move still makes for an timely tactic on Microsoft's part. This weekend will also see the Xbox-themed X018 show happen, where Microsoft has promised "big PUBG news." This demo might be a way to generate hype. There's also the rumor that the game's console exclusivity with Microsoft will end in December, allowing it a quick launch on PS4. The free trial might be a last-ditch effort to keep Xbox players invested in the game on that platform.
Of course, there's also the well-worn argument that PUBG should just be free anyway. The game is known for its many bugs and issues, and only just had its true Xbox release after spending months as a "preview" title. It also doesn't help that its main competitor, Fortnite, is seeing huge returns from free-to-play model. Perhaps now is the time for PUBG to just go free and charge for cosmetic micro-transactions.
For those who aren't too into battle royale, Microsoft is also including Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 in the promotion. Just like PUBG, you can download and play it at no charge over the weekend.
It all sounds like a nice deal, but the real question is: will any of it be enough to tear people away from Red Dead Redemption 2?