Battle royale king PUBG Mobile earned outstanding amounts of revenue last year, which made it stand out among all the battle royale games. Now, according to a new mobile games report from IHS Markit and Priori Data, PUBG‘s revenue has more than doubled since the last quarter of 2018. The biggest contribution to this cause has been of PUBG Mobile which helped Tencent Games achieve a growth of 189 percent between the fourth quarter of 2018 and 2019’s first quarter. PUBG Mobile on its part has outperformed other mobile battle royale rivals Fortnite and Knives Out.
“Net revenue for PUBG Mobile surged by 241 percent just between February and March, despite a continuing — although marginal — downward trend in downloads,” remarks IHS Markit analyst Louise Shorthouse. “This suggests that existing players are being better monetized in-game by Tencent.” PUBG Mobile’s popularity has boosted Tencent’s revenues outside of its home country of China by 209 percent between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019. All this while Tencent’s biggest competitor NetEase saw a 22 percent decrease during the same period.
“This burst of international success for Tencent comes in the wake of domestic market disruption. The nine-month freeze on the game approval process in China in 2018 impacted the well-prepared plans of all the domestic games publishers, pushing the biggest players to capitalize on the somewhat untapped international opportunity.” Says Shorthouse. “As the effects of the freeze linger, IHS Markit expects Tencent and NetEase to continue to build their exposure to international markets, thus competing more directly with major games publishers from other regions.”
In China Tencent had shifted the userbase from PUBG to a more patriotic video game which, apparently unlike PUBG, has the regulatory approval needed to generate revenue. Tencent Games has been waiting for almost a year to earn the approval to earn money on PUBG via in-app purchases. Since it didn’t happen, the game has not been transformed into a one that has a more socialist tone to meet stringent government rules.
And if reports are to be believed US app analytics firm Sensor Tower on May 10 announced that China’s App Store users spent more than $14 million on the new Game for Peace through in-app purchases in less than 72 hours of its launch. The new anti-terrorism-themed Game for Peace was launched and granted the monetization approval in April.