No one is really questioning how massively popular Epic Games’ Fortnite is on mobile. But the numbers are in and it has outstripped competitor PUBG Mobile almost fivefold on iOS devices, according to market analyst Sensor Tower. Comparing the two games’ first week revenue on the Apple App Store reveals PUBG generated about $700,000 while Fortnite raked in $3.7 million.
Both are free-to-play and earn their revenue through in-app purchases. Though PUBG Mobile launched worldwide in mid-March, it only implemented this monetization strategy in the past week. Unlike Fortnite, it’s available on both iOS and Android devices, and Sensor Tower estimates that it’s earned around $1 million on both those platforms outside of China.
PUBG has a chance to catch up because it boasts high install numbers outside of China. Before it implemented in-app purchases, around 22 million players had downloaded it from the Apple App Store, which is about six times higher than Fortnite’s 3.7 million in its first week. And the games are neck-and-neck in the Apple App Store standings — Fortnite at No. 5 and PUBG at No. 6 of the top free games. What might be hurting PUBG’s revenue the most is the items that it’s offering players in exchange for in-game currency.
Sensor Tower compares what’s on offer for players in both games and found that Fortnite favors limited-time and daily items for people to buy. PUBG Mobile, on the other hand, focuses on a randomized loot box system that can produce duplicates of items that players already own. Fortnite’s Battle Pass also offers perks for $10 per month.
“Fortnite is more popular on PC and console than PUBG at present and that, coupled with the fact that purchases made in the game on mobile carry over to other platforms’ versions, may be helping its iOS revenue,” wrote Sensor Tower head of mobile insights Randy Nelson in a blog post.
PUBG has the edge on Fortnite in one of the world’s largest markets, though: publisher Tencent’s home turf, China. As of March, it was the top Western PC game in that country and that popularity could transfer over to mobile. Since this was only the first week PUBG Mobile has offered in-app purchases, the game could also potentially change up its strategy to have more players grabbing their wallets.
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