100 million monthly active users (MAUs) now play the mobile version of PUBG, according to App Annie via VentureBeat. That doesn’t include players in China, where Tencent, the game’s publisher, had to shut the game down.
The battle royale shooter debuted on mobile slightly over a year ago, so this result is impressive. Since it’s launch on iOS and Android, PUBG has brought in more than $100 million for Tencent.
In the meantime, Sensor Tower looks at the bigger picture of mobile battle royale market. The research shows that the revenue generated by the top 5 titles in the genre has exceeded $2 billion. That’s in less than two years.
Knives Out, published by NetEase, leads the mobile market at $643 million earned since its launch in November 2017. Fortnite closely follows with its $630 million. To be fair, this estimate is iOS-only because Fortnite is not on Google Play. Epic Games distributes the title via its own Android launcher. So the overall revenue across iOS and Android might mean that Fortnite is the actual leader on mobile, even though it’s not available in China. PUBG Mobile is No.3 at $439 million.
In Q1 2019, users spent $476 million on battle royale games, with PUBG Mobile accounting for $148 million (31%). That’s almost 63% up from the $91 million it amassed in Q4 2018. Other titles, however, show negative growth in Q1 2019.
“The category is getting more crowded, and certain titles are naturally emerging as favorites among players. Then, in PUBG Mobile’s case, for example, we’re seeing the result of their publishers finding the right formula for improving monetization, be it through limited-time events, battle passes, and other content they didn’t have in the earlier periods. Finally, there’s the simple fact that some titles are just declining in popularity. I’m not sure what you’re seeing on the PC/console front, but in the case of Fortnite, for example, we can tell that its popularity is waning on mobile through the decline in player spending we’re tracking.”
Randy Nelson, Head of Mobile Insights, Sensor Tower
We are yet to see whether this trend continues as Game for Peace, the socialist remake of PUBG, gains momentum in China.