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PUBG Mobile versus Fortnite Mobile: Which is performing better?

The battle royale commences
PUBG Mobile versus Fortnite Mobile: Which is performing better?

When a game becomes as enormously successful as Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, competition is never far behind.

The major challenge to PUBG comes from Epic's Fortnite: Battle Royale, which has quickly gained momentum on both PC and console with its free-to-play model.

But as PUBG comes with a price tag on PC and Xbox One, the two cannot be directly compared.

This is a different story on mobile, where the two games have recently appeared – albeit both in beta – in F2P form.

It's still very much early days for the pair on mobile, then, but are they beginning to dominate the platform? We're taking a look at App Annie's chart data to find out.

The long game

PUBG Mobile may have only recently launched in the West, but the partnership that enabled it – between PUBG Corp and Tencent, who published the mobile version – was announced in November 2017.

This gave Tencent's Chinese compatriots NetEase the opportunity for a pre-emptive strike, beating PUBG Mobile to market with three of its own made-for-mobile battle royale games.

All three launched without monetisation, preferring to integrate it after the games had established an audience. It largely seems to have worked out pretty well and PUBG Mobile has been rolled out with much the same strategy.

It currently has no monetisation to speak of, and so obviously hasn't featured on the grossing charts. However, the download charts paint a rosy picture for PUBG Mobile.

Since its launch in the US on March 17th, PUBG Mobile has spent six days (of eight, at the time of writing) as the most downloaded iPhone app in the country.

It has also enjoyed a six-day streak at the summit of Canada's iPhone download chart and the same in the UK. All told, it's topped the download charts in 89 countries.

Meanwhile, the Chinese version has remained consistently in the top three on the country's iPhone download rankings following a six-day spell at number one after launch.

The challenger

Fortnite Mobile is in a slightly different position to PUBG Mobile and is arguably more prepared to hit the ground running on mobile.

Its F2P economy is already established, with the technological feat of actually getting it to run on mobile the biggest obstacle.

As such, it's being rolled out on an invite-only basis. But despite this limited audience, Fortnite Mobile reportedly raked in an impressive $1 million in iOS revenues after only three days, according to Sensor Tower. Since then, the intelligence firm claims the game has now made as much as $5.3 million from its first 10 days.

It's consistently ranked among the top 10 on the US iPhone grossing charts since March 16th, peaking at fifth.

It may have only topped the grossing charts in two countries – Switzerland and Belize – but this is a game that isn't yet available to all.

And despite this, it's hit the top 10 in 19 countries, including the UK, Canada, France and Germany.

Only a very elite few could manage this while remaining invite-only and it is for this reason alone – the fact that Fortnite is already monetising on mobile, with a system honed on PC and console – that appears to give Epic's game the edge.

“PUBG and Fortnite will enjoy even more success thanks to their mobile versions.”

While it's true that monetisation will likely be rolling out in PUBG Mobile sooner rather than later, and that Tencent has the experience of its hugely successful Chinese version to draw on, we've seen many times before that success in China does not equal the same in the West.

Chicken dinner

In truth, though, all signs indicate that both PUBG and Fortnite will enjoy even more success thanks to their mobile versions.

Both games have been phenomenally successful on other platforms and both can be equally successful on mobile. The pair naturally invite comparisons, but it's certainly unlikely that one will kill off the other.

What's really worth focusing on is the fact that the companies behind both PUBG and Fortnite decided very quickly that mobile was the ideal next step in their respective strategies.

This was not always the case, particularly for multiplayer action games, and speaks to the ever-shrinking gap between mobile and console/PC gaming.

Both have treated the platform with respect and are reaping the benefits. The tussle for territory will be an ongoing one and it should be fascinating to watch it all play out.