Krafton weathers mobile storm in quarterly financials

Krafton's financials note mobile expansion, the impact of the BGMI ban and floats potential cross-platform release for Project BlackBudget

Krafton weathers mobile storm in quarterly financials

Krafton, owners of PUBG and major 2022 releases such as The Callisto Protocol have unveiled their fourth quarter 2022 financial results.

The results note an overall year-on-year dip in revenue by -1.7%, however there was a growth in quarter-on-quarter revenue in Q4 2022 of +9.2%. Indicating an overall year for the company despite stumbling blocks along the way and the continued looming presence of the post-pandemic slowdown of the global gaming industry. However, what’s of interest to us specifically is their performance in terms of Krafton’s large mobile presence.

In terms of raw numbers, the Krafton financials note that overall revenue in 2022 for mobile games were down -11.6% year-on-year. This was attributed to the global reopening post pandemic and to the BGMI (BattleGrounds Mobile India) ban, despite strong performance in the first half of the year. They also noted that PUBG Mobile remained extremely strong in terms of streaming, with 42% of Mobile Shooter Stream Viewership attributed to it, and 10% to BGMI. Finally, PUBG Mobile was the second-most streamed mobile game in terms of hours for 2022.

Unnamed Projects to multiple platforms

What’s especially interesting is their presentation of Project BlackBudget which is, at this early stage, a new title from PUBG Studios. They describe it as “Challenging ourselves to popularise the extraction shooter genre based on our PUBG production & service experience.”

At this stage they are only considering a full cross-platform release, which would mimic other battle royale games such as Fortnite which support full crossplay. To do so would be a unique move for an extraction shooter and the game would most likely exist in the PUBG Universe much as PUBG: New State already does.

The previously announced adaptation of The Bird That Drinks Tears was also mentioned, alongside a sequel to Subnautica and another unnamed Western-style game.

“We will meet everyone in the World we are Building”

Also, it would seem that Krafton are intent on pushing into the metaverse space further and further. “We will meet everyone in the World we are Building” was a closing tagline in the presentation, joining with prominent plugs for their new business pursuits with an “Open World UGC Game Platform” with the stated purpose of, “Building an immersive space, with creator tools, and a creator economy system”.

Of course, cross-promotions and sponsored cosmetics are nothing new to the PUBG IP, however some players have observed that many of these are of a lesser calibre to similar collaborations in Fortnite. With this announcement it seems that Krafton are pursuing a Roblox-like approach to the metaverse, one which would work in tandem with their mobile pursuits.

With Krafton taking stock after a fairly slow and turbulent year, the latest announcments show a company eyeing future expansion and new markets.

Staff Writer

Iwan is a Cardiff-based freelance writer, who joined the Pocket Gamer Biz site fresh-faced from University before moving to the editorial team in November of 2023.