Tencent Holdings’ battle royale game PUBG Mobile broke through the US$3.5 billion revenue mark last month, despite India’s recent move to ban the game, according to a new report.
App analytics firm Sensor Tower reported that PUBG Mobile’s revenue exceeded US$3.5 billion in accumulated player spending in the last week of August. Its latest report shows that the title grossed US$221 million in August, making it the most lucrative mobile game in the world that month. The title saw its best month in March when it generated US$270 million in revenue.
The success of PUBG Mobile reflects the enduring appeal of the title and dominance of Tencent – and Chinese companies in general – in mobile gaming. The game‘s continued success comes despite being caught up in the ongoing China-India border dispute, which resulted in the game being banned by the Indian government this month along with several other titles.
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“Revenue looks set to remain strong, despite a ban in India,” Craig Chapple, Sensor Tower’s mobile insights strategist, wrote in a report. “Even though the game has attracted an enormous player base [in India], the country only accounts for 1.2 per cent of player spending globally.”
“The title has fought off fierce rivals in the mobile battle royale space to be the clear leader in the genre, and has benefited from global lockdowns during the pandemic, while also maintaining the high levels of player spending throughout the year,” Chapple added.
India has in recent months banned 177 Chinese apps including PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite over national security and data privacy concerns, a move analysts consider to be India’s retaliation against China over recent border disputes. However, Tencent is trying to get the game back in India by assigning rights to publish the game to Seoul-based PUBG Corp.
Sensor Tower’s estimates also include revenue from PUBG Mobile’s China variant – Peacekeeper Elite, also known as Game for Peace. Of the US$3.5 billion total revenue worldwide, Peacekeeper Elite contributed almost US$1.8 billion in accumulated revenue. Outside China, PUBG Mobile raked in close to US$1.7 billion in player revenue.
The United States is the biggest overseas market for PUBG Mobile, contributing almost 29 per cent of the total. Japan is No 2 with 12 per cent and Saudi Arabia ranks third with 8.8 per cent, according to Sensor Tower.
PUBG Mobile has accumulated 770 million downloads globally to date. India ranks No 1 with 185.5 million installs, or 24 per cent of all downloads, China is No 2 with 16.4 per cent and the US comes in third with 6.3 per cent.
More from South China Morning Post:
- Tencent’s PUBG Mobile rakes in US$226 million in May, continuing streak as highest-grossing mobile game globally
- Chinese mobile games take 19 of top 100 spots in US games market in first quarter amid Covid boom
- Tencent relinquishes rights to PUBG Mobile in India amid latest ban on Chinese apps
This article Tencent’s PUBG Mobile passes US$3.5 billion in accumulated player revenue despite India ban first appeared on South China Morning Post