PUBG Mobile is one of the fastest-growing smartphone games, according to industry intelligence firm Sensor Tower. The company’s latest estimates put the battle royale shooter at over $1 billion in revenues across all devices. That comes after a huge year of increased spending on the game.
If you’re wondering how PUBG Mobile is quietly such a huge success, the answer is you’re probably not paying attention to China. Publisher China, which is dominant in that country, recently relaunched PUBG Mobile.
“Thanks in large part to its re-release in Tencent’s home market, PUBG Mobile has grown its gross revenue from approximately $25 million in August 2018 to slightly more than $160 million last month,” Sensor Tower analyst Randy Nelson writes in a blog post. “[That’s] an increase of about 540%.”
But it’s not all about China. The game is seeing plenty of growth in other territories as well.
“Even when China is removed from the equation, monthly PUBG Mobile revenue has more than doubled year-over-year as of August,” explains Nelson. “Player spending in the title outside China last month reached nearly $63 million, according to Sensor Tower estimates, an increase of 152% from a year earlier.”
PUBG Mobile races ahead of the battle royale competition
One of the big takeaways from Sensor Tower’s data is that PUBG Mobile is now on par with Fortnite on iOS.
“Comparing PUBG Mobile to its most prominent rival, Fortnite from Epic Games, on the App Store reveals a leveling of the playing field,” explains Nelson. “Tencent’s title has grown its revenue 165 percent year-over-year on iOS outside China, while Fortnite mobile spending has declined by 36 percent over the same period. Last month, they both grossed close to $25 million on Apple’s platform.”
And those revenue numbers are only if you don’t include China. Epic has yet to officially launch Fortnite on mobile in that country.
“If China is factored in, PUBG Mobile earned 3.7 times more than Epic Games’ title last month on iOS,” writes Nelson.
And when you look at that $1 billion measuring post, Fortnite is still a long way from that. Epic’s mobile battle royale game has generated $752 million on iOS and Android, according to Sensor Tower’s estimates. It’s worth noting, however, players could spend money on the console or PC version of Fortnite that would then carry over to the mobile game. That’s not true for PUBG.