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PUBG made nearly $1 billion in 2018, despite struggles in China and India

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds faced tremendous competition in 2018, particularly from free-to-play entries led by the success of Fortnite. Despite this, PUBG was an unmitigated success as its annual revenue climbed to a staggering $920 million last year.

The PC version in particular was the game’s most popular platform, accounting for 81.5% of the game’s overall revenue at $790 million. Consoles contributed $60 million throughout the year, an unsurprisingly low figure given that its late arrival to consoles gave away its foothold to Fortnite.

PUBG Mobile influence was noticeably low at $65 million, even with more combined downloads across iOS and Android than Fortnite. This is largely because Tencent owns the licence to make and publish the mobile version, meaning the majority of profits land in the Chinese firm’s pocket.

PUBG Mobile has yet to breach the Chinese market officially given the stagnation of video game licences and might suffer more obstacles with new regulation that prevents blood and corpses from being shown. India has also had a backlash against the title, outright banning PUBG Mobile in several cities over concerns of addiction and violence. Even with these struggles, the Asian market accounted for 53% of the overall revenue throughout 2018, hitting highs of $487 million.

2019 is set to be even more difficult with the launch of Battlefield’s Firestorm and, more importantly, the rapid growth of Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends. Apex might be shedding viewers on Twitch, but its player base is still strong.

KitGuru Says: Developer PUBG Corp has relentlessly tried to keep its game relevant with its FIX PUBG campaign and a myriad of updates, with its latest patch today introducing Weapon Mastery, UI changes and regular rebalancing. Still, PUBG struggles to maintain its player base. Only time will tell whether PUBG Corp’s efforts will pay off.  

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