PUBG Mobile is Only the Fifth Highest Grossing Mobile Game in H1 2019, Despite the Craze
PUBG Mobile’s craze is real — almost every young smartphone user has given the game at least one shot, and Tencent’s battle royale supremo has been constantly ranking near the top of charts for concurrent gamers and overall volume of gamers. However, in recent market research data shared by Sensor Tower, Tencent’s PUBG Mobile seems quite far away from topping the revenue charts for games.
In the data shared for app downloads and revenues in H1 2019, while mobile games were the overwhelming favourites in terms of revenue generated by apps, PUBG Mobile has only ranked fifth in terms of the list of highest grossing apps on both Android and iOS in the first six months of 2019. This, too, is a result of Tencent introducing PUBG Mobile’s modified variant, dubbed Game for Peace, in China, where users made extensive in-app purchases to catapult its overall revenue.
The incident is an odd contrast to the global craze for the game, especially centered in India. With millions of players clocking in extensive hours of gameplay, one would expect that a game like PUBG Mobile would see soaring revenues. While its overall generated revenue is undoubtedly impressive and towering, it has been massively overshadowed by the likes of Candy Crush Saga, and Tencent’s own alternative, Honor of Kings. For reference, while PUBG Mobile’s combined revenue from iOS and Android fell somewhere around the $200-300 million mark, Honor of Kings raked in a staggering $728 million in H1 2019.
The reason for this is probably owing to the fact that many of the players of PUBG Mobile use budget Android smartphones, and generally refrain from making in-app purchases. One of PUBG Mobile’s biggest markets is India, where the section of users paying for premium apps and in-app services is considerably lesser than other developed markets.
While this does not take anything away from PUBG Mobile’s popularity, it is an important factor to consider in the larger scheme of things. For reference, the Sensor Tower data further revealed the Google Play Store to have received 41.9 billion unique app downloads, while the iOS App Store received only 14.8 billion downloads. Despite receiving 2.8x the number of downloads, Google’s app generated revenue stood at $14.2 billion, while Apple raked in $25.5 billion, which is 1.8x higher than Google’s.
Like PUBG Mobile, this too is a lopsided metric that shows the imbalance between the usage of apps. However, there is a clear positive trend that shows increase of in-app spending, hinting that app generated revenue is only slated to increase in the long run.