PUBG Mobile has surpassed a major milestone, surpassing a massive $10 billion in revenue, according to research firm Sensor Tower.
The Tencent title has been a worldwide success, but China has proven to be a particularly lucrative market, contributing 60.3% of the game’s total revenue. This was followed by the United States (10.7%), Japan (3.7%), and South Korea (1.6%).
China also led the way in terms of average revenue per download (ARPD), with an average of $34.2, Japan was close behind at $31.8, followed by the USA at $15.9 and South Korea at $7.9. The success of the title in Japan, which has historically been somewhat difficult for mobile game makers to penetrate, highlights the strength of the title.
In terms of downloads, it was India - where the game operates under the title Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) - which led the way at 21.8% of the total. China and the USA rounded out the top three at 14.3% and 5.9% respectively, however Sensor Tower didn’t release exact figures in terms of downloads.
The game is identified as the second highest grossing title of the past two years, behind fellow Tencent title Honor of Kings. However, it reigns supreme among shooting games, with more than three times as many sales as the second best-selling title Garena Free Fire.
Sensor Tower's research credits PUBG Mobile’s success to numerous factors, among them being the game’s success in translating the attractive elements of the original PC release to mobile, while enhancing its accessibility with intuitive controls and a user-friendly interface. Additionally, the company has succeeded in leveraging the battle royale genre’s immersive gameplay and social meta features to provide players with a team-based gameplay experience.
Despite this success, the title has had a rocky time in India in particular. PUBG Mobile was banned in India in 2020 due to concerns that publisher Tencent was mishandling user data. The title was relaunched as BGMI with Krafton taking on publishing duties within the country. The game was removed again in 2022, before making a triumphant return in May. With India being one of the world’s biggest mobile first gaming market, this could well see the game take its success to the next level.
We listed Krafton and Tencent as two of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.