PUBG custom matches "won't have an associated cost" during beta but may charge in future (opens in new tab), so said the battle royale's developer earlier this month. Brendan Greene, aka PlayerUnknown himself, has now explained PUBG Corp "can’t provide people with free servers" as doing so is not financially viable.
In conversation with PCGamesN (opens in new tab), Greene says paywalls are required—be that with real money or in-game currency.
"I was a modder for many years, and I didn’t expect ARMA to provide me with free servers to mod on, and it’s the same with this," Greene says. "We can’t provide people with free servers. There has to be a way to pay for servers through some sort of wall—either points, BP or money.
"We just can’t provide free servers for everyone, it’s just not a sustainable business model. I still pay for ARMA 3 servers to this day, because that’s just how the world works."
According to Steam Charts (opens in new tab), PUBG's peak concurrent player count over the last 30 days hit 1,438,538 (689,670 average). Nevertheless, Greene tells PCGamesN (opens in new tab) "sales of a game can only last you so long".
For some slightly more outlandish PUBG reading/viewing, let me point you towards this: Cirque du Soleil meets PUBG at the Global Invitational opening ceremony (opens in new tab).