Just as it looks like the Apex Legends bubble may have burst – at least, on Twitch – it seems the old dog of the battle royale genre is still fit and healthy. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds made $920 million in revenue during 2018. That’s up on 2017 – the year it blew up – by around $220 million.
The news comes to us via industry analyst Daniel Ahmad on Twitter, who cites a report by Naver Sports (Naver is a South Korean online platform and search engine). $310 million of that revenue is profit, and $790 million of it comes from PC players.
Astonishingly, mobile is a drop in the ocean at only $65 million – Ahmad explains that this is because Tencent has the licence to make and publish the mobile version, whereas Naver Sports is citing a report from PUBG Corp. Considering PUBG mobile has more downloads than Fortnite – across all its platforms – it’s mind-boggling to think how much money the mobile version might have made Tencent.
It’s also notable that the Asian market is responsible for 53% of this $920 million in revenue. PUBG is arguably not the sensation it once was in the West, having been eclipsed by Fortnite last year. But the Fortnite vs. PUBG battle isn’t over yet – PUBG is still massive in territories such as India, where PUBG Mobile has been banned, with 16 arrests made for violations.
PUBG Corp Financials:
2018 Revenue: $920 million
2018 Profit: $310 million
Console – $60m
Asia = 53% of revenue
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) April 19, 2019
That ban was introduced over fears of addiction and promotion of violence. A similar ban for both PUBG and Fortnite was introduced in Iraq last week (via GamesIndustry.biz).
In recent PUBG news, creator Brendan ‘PlayerUnknown’ Greene has stepped away from the sensation he helped to launch in order to work on experimental projects.