Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner
It’s no secret that Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is one of 2017’s biggest gaming success stories. What started out as interesting experiment in the relatively new battle royale genre, exploded into a worldwide phenomenon. Now the game boasts over 30 million players, and just recently, passed the 5 million mark on Xbox One. To celebrate this huge success, Xbox Canada recently put on a very fun attraction in downtown Toronto.
Called “Winner’s Dinner,” the weekend event involved a faux pop-up restaurant pretending to serve what else but scrumptious chicken dinners. That particular meal is, of course, a reference to the game’s rather amusing victory screen exclaiming “Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!” I was particularly impressed with the amount of work Xbox Canada put into event, and the entire team should really be commended. Read on to get a taste of what I found inside!
Visiting Winner’s Dinner
If I didn’t know better, from the outside you’d swear Winner’s Dinner was a real restaurant. Xbox Canada made a neon sign depicting a chicken giving the thumbs up as it walks onto a fry pan. It was a pretty funny and attractive logo I thought. Above were big yellow letters also saying “WINNER’S DINNER,” and just below was your everyday “Open” sign. Before even walking inside the event I was already very impressed!
Once inside, the little touches really made this experience stand out. For one thing, Xbox Canada had prepared bottles of chicken sauce all adorned with the comical chicken logo. I noticed three different types of condiments: chili lime sauce, hotiyaki sauce, and BBQ rib sauce. All of the sauces were neatly displayed on the tables, exactly like you’d see in your standard fast food joint.
Towards the back was an ordering counter complete with two smiling servers and a 3-piece menu. The menu included nice nods to PUBG, including Energy Drinks and the game’s infamous Red Circle danger zones. Both servers were wearing Winner’s Dinner cooking aprons, which I again thought was a nice touch. Now if only I could have taken one of those cool aprons home, imagine that!
PUBG game stations
All of this sweet setup was a facade for the real event: PUBG game stations in a secret backroom. In order to enter we had to follow a mysterious arrow sign telling us the area was only for “winners”. While I don’t normally walk around thinking myself to be a winner, I thought what the heck and entered. (I’ve won a bunch of PUBG match on Xbox One so perhaps I really am a winner!)
There was actually one more step to enter this mysterious room: I had to knock and swear I’m a winner. At this point I was getting real Willy Wonka or Alice in Wonderland vibes, where exactly was I going? Well, it turns out to a very familiar place, a game room full of PUBG stations! All the steps I had to take in order to finally arrive here really did heighten the excitement. So great job, Xbox Canada!
Going after those Chicken Dinners
In the game room I was joined by a big group of media outlets and influencers, including our very own Jon Scarr. All the stations were connected for team play, and all were online to play real games over Xbox Live. Jon and I played a few matches and came close, but unfortunately no Chicken Dinners for us that night.
One of the more entertaining aspect of the event was all the PUBG paraphernalia lying about. They had the classic fry pan, naturally, but also gear like a riot helmet and black vest. This attire and gadgets is, as you’d expect, all inspired from the game itself. Every had a blast dressing up in their favourite outfits and giving their best PUBG pose. Jon and I took turns in various suits, with plenty of laughs along the way.
Towards the back they also had a shelf full of more PUBG items. I saw the iconic baseball cap, camo gear, and energy drinks you can chug for a boost. Midway through the event I ran into a guy wearing PUBG’s grass camo suit, and snapped a fun picture. There wasn’t much air circulation at the event so I bet he was really hot in there! I’m not sure if he was an actor or a superfan, but either way great job on the getup.
Enjoying my own Chicken Dinner
Following the event, I went home to—what else—prepare my own hearty chicken dinner! Xbox Canada had loaded me up with all three sauces and so I was all set for this meal. Given that it was kind of late, I baked some chicken nuggets and french fries, though later in the week I bought some fresh chicken. The sauce was amazing!
Another parting gift I received was a sweet “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” t-shirt you can see Jon holding there. T-shirts are a common gift you get at gaming media events, but this particular one was something special. The phrase covers nearly the entire front of the shirt, letting you really express your love for PUBG. Very cool!
Experience PUBG for yourself
If you’ve yet to try Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, or have the PC version and are thinking about getting it for Xbox One, there’s never been a better time. The Xbox version has a huge community 5 million players strong, so you’ll always have plenty of gamers to play with.
Bluehole, the game’s developer, has also been regularly updating PUBG on Xbox with patches that improve performance and stability. Compared to the game’s launch last December there’s been a lot of improvements. You can expect more optimization to come as the development team is very committed to this project.
Lastly, if you haven’t had a chance to check out my impressions of PUBG on Xbox, here’s the link. I found the game to be extremely fun and it’s easy to get hooked. The thrill of competing against 99 players is truly a heart-pounding experience!
To those playing PUBG—I’ll see you out on the battlefield soon!