Mobile Games Hotspot: 'PUBG' Tournament to Be Held Without Live Audience Amid Coronavirus Concerns

PUBG Mobile - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of PUBG Corporation

Elsewhere in gaming-on-the-go: mobile gaming sees a rise in popularity according to new poll; new events in 'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite'; and new content for 'Mario Kart Tour.'

Mobile Games Hotspot is a curated weekly roundup of the top stories in gaming on-the-go.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to throw the video game industry into a frenzy as another live event is getting heavily modified. The PUBG Mobile Pro League — specifically, matches set to be held in the South Asia region — will continue but without a live audience. Instead, those set to attend and fans around the world can tune in on March 19 to watch the tournament streamed live through the event's official YouTube channel.

"The health and safety of our players and staff are our first priority," publisher Tencent said in an official statement. "We take the well-being of our staff and players, as well as the public health, very seriously."

The PUBG Mobile Pro League was not the only major event affected by safety and health concerns this week. All Overwatch League events during the months of March and April are now canceled, while other esports events like the fighting game-focused NorCal Regionals were also canned. Even the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the biggest gaming convention of the year, will no longer take place in Los Angeles this June.

Here's what else is happening in the world of mobile games:

Mobile Games Continue to Rise in Popularity

Mobile phones continue to reign supreme as the most popular video gaming device globally, according to a new study from digital media and software company Limelight Networks. Mobile gaming ranked as the most popular option among all age demographics, though the study did note women are more likely than men to use mobile phones as their primary gaming device.

March Events in Wizards Unite

Harry Potter is back with another round of updates as Harry Potter: Wizards Unite gets something new every week in the month of March. This week sees Part 1 of the Circus Calamitous Brilliant Event kick off where Foundables like Zouwu and Graphorn can be accessed. Part 2 starts on March 24 and will instead feature Nagini and the Kappa. A third event featuring James, Sirius, Remus and Peter is planned for March 31 and will only last three days. This month's Community Day falls on Saturday, March 21, but is currently postponed in Japan, South Korea and Italy.

Fallout Shelter Online Confirmed for the West

Originally released exclusively in China back in 2017, the free-to-play and online-focused version of Fallout Shelter will now release in regions around the world. Fallout Shelter Online allows you to manage underground vaults in a postapocalyptic world, just like the original game released in 2015. A new hero-collecting system introduces gacha mechanics (virtual emulations of capsule toy vending machines) where common and rare characters from Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 can be collected and used. While an exact release date has not been announced, the Philippines App Store currently has an expected release date of April 22.

Gameclub Service Launching on Android This Month

After launching on iOS in October of last year, the GameClub game-subscription service is set for a release on Android later this month. GameClub differs from Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass in that it seeks to revive older and forgotten mobile games and release them in a new subscription-based format. At $4.99 a month, the service aims to have 100 games available to play before the Android release.

Mario Kart Tour Gets a Simple Tour

Mario Kart Tour receives an update every other week, and this week's introduction of the Baby Rosalina Tour is no different. Although there isn't as much new content when compared to previous tours, this update changes a few of the rewards, including the addition of two free pipe pulls. The ability to play cups in any order was also implemented. In addition to Baby Rosalina (Detective), a new glider and kart was added alongside a new variation of the London Loop track.