The argument between Fortnite and PUBG fans will probably last forever, but in mobile gaming, one might just have the say now. Yes, we do agree that when it comes to console and PC gaming, Fortnite will always take over the headlines. But the rivals, Tencent can now brag to Epic Games of the $1 billion revenue that they just acclaimed. However, one country may be the main cause of this. Thanks, China.
How Did This Happen?
Back in May, PUBG publisher Tencent were mandated to shut down the game’s mobile in China altogether. This was after a whole year of waiting for the country’s regulators to approve a bid to monetise the game. And if you considered China’s strict laws on gambling and violence, then you’d understand.
Later, the game was relaunched as Game for Peace, which was pretty much the same game. The only difference was pro-Chinese elements and toned-down violence. Shot characters in this one don’t bleed and when people are dying, they kneel surrender their loot box and wave goodbye. Seems too polite for what the rest of the world is playing.
They changed PUBG Mobile in China to comply with stricter game violence laws. Now when you 'kill' someone they give you a loot box and wave goodbye and honestly it's just so hilariously wholesome pic.twitter.com/Q5xkrtM0MA
— Svend Joscelyne (@SvendJoscelyne) May 8, 2019
With the Chinese players still eager to have a taste of the game, millions jumped in giving Tencent a steady rise in earnings over the few months. The revenue shot incredibly high from last year’s $25 million to $160 million last month with the reworked version alone. This, as reported by Sensor Tower, is a record 540% increase.
Yet even without China’s contribution, player spending in PUBG has increased 152% compared to a year earlier. This huge revenue stream then means that PUBG Mobile is the first mobile battle royale game to pass $1 billion both on iOS and Android.
This places the game ahead of Knives Out ($820 million)and Fortnite ($752 million). But what surprises, even more, is the fact as PUBG goes up Fortnite’s mobile version has actually faced a decline in revenue. Epic Games’ title has seen its iOS spending fall 36% YoY to $25 million, though it has yet to launch in China.
Nevertheless, PUBG owes thanks to the record 45 million new players that ventured into the battle royale pushing the total number of installs to 400 million globally.