PUBG Mobile surpasses $3.5 billion in player spending, most of it on iOS

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PUBG Mobile
PUBG is having a great year.
Screenshot: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

While Epic, the makers of battle royale game Fortnite, wage war against Apple, rival title PUBG Mobile goes from strength to strength in terms of player spending.

According to app analytics platform Sensor Tower, PUBG has just passed a major milestone: surpassing $3.5 billion in lifetime spending. Of that, $500 million comes in the past 72 days alone while people were stuck home during coronavirus-induced lockdown.

So far in 2020, PUBG has earned upward of $1.8 billion in player spending, and been downloaded more than 198 million times. This figure is across both the Google Play and iOS App Store — although the App Store reportedly makes up 80% of player spending. That leaves just 20% for Google Play.

Sensor Tower notes that:

“[F]rom January 1, 2020 to August 13, 2020 — the day that PUBG Mobile’s rival Fortnite from Epic Games was removed from the App Store and Google Play — Tencent’s title was the top grossing mobile battle royale game worldwide, ahead of Garena Free Fire from Garena at No. 2, Knives Out from NetEase at No. 3, Fortnite at No. 4, and Call of Duty: Mobile from Activision at No. 5. While the latter isn’t strictly a battle royale title, it does feature such a game mode.”

Top markets for PUBG player spending

These numbers cover both PUBG Mobile, available globally, and the localized Chinese version called Game For Peace. PUBG is made by Chinese developer Tencent.

The United States is either no. 1 or no. 2 on the top market list for player spending. This depends on whether you include Game For Peace or stick, strictly, to PUBG Mobile. If you include both together, China is the no. 1 market, with the U.S. in second place. If just PUBG Mobile, the U.S. is the biggest international market when it comes to spending. The game was recently dealt a blow when India, one of its largest markets, banned the game earlier this month.

Apple, for its part, has helped to hype PUBG. In the aftermath of the Epic Games showdown, Apple promoted other battle royale games available via the App Store. Whether this was to taunt Epic or reassure gamers Fortnite wasn’t their only option isn’t clear. (Maybe it was six of one, half a dozen of the other?) Either way, it was a nice boost as far as publicity goes!

The current version of PUBG Mobile can be downloaded from the App Store. Like Fortnite, it is free to play, but offers plenty of in-app purchases.

Source: Sensor Tower