PlayerUnknownâ€™s Battlegrounds, better known as PUBG, is a massively popular online multiplayer battle royale game. This highly-competitive action game is played by almost every mobile gamer now. You can just pass by any public space and youâ€™ll surely see at least two to three people glued to their screen, tapping away with gunshots blaring in the background. So, it comes not as a surprise that PUBG mobile became the top-grossing smartphone game in Q3 of 2019.
Murder by Numbers
Market intelligence firm Sensor Tower released the Q3 report revealing the statistics. PUBG Mobileâ€™s revenue numbers soared up to 652% on a year-on-year period. Its earnings nearly touched half-a-billion dollars, amassing a whopping $496 million just in the third quarter of this year alone. This record-high figure essentially makes PUBG Mobile the worldâ€™s highest-grossing smartphone game. It also ranked second for most downloads worldwide on the App Store and Google Play for the same quarter. Although PUBG Mobile successfully dethroned heavyweight rival Honor of Kings, Tencent is the sure winner. The Chinese conglomerate serves as the publisher of both mobile games.
On the other hand, usual chart-toppers Honor of Kings (known as Arena of Valor in the West) and Sony Aniplexâ€™s Fate/Grand Order came in at second and third places. They generated revenues of $377 million and $354 million during the same quarter, respectively.
Although landing at number four, Nianticâ€™s Pokemon Go serves as Q3â€™s fastest-growing mobile game in terms of earnings. It brought in $308 million and a 63% growth rate from the second quarter.
Finally, Nintendoâ€™s Mario Kart Tour sprinted straight at number three for most downloads worldwide with $86 million. This came about despite the fact the game was only released just days before Q3â€™s end.
Respawned in China
PUBG Mobile attained the said number after taking a separate record only last month. As Sensor Tower also reported, it became the first battle royale mobile game to break through the $1 billion revenue mark. That goes for both Android and iOS platforms.
May 2019 saw Tencent almost pull the game out from China after months of dismal sales. It was then relaunched under the title Game for Peace, albeit packed with pro-Chinese military propaganda elements. The Chinese government soon granted the game with a license to monetize. Since the re-release, PUBG Mobile has garnered a 540% increase in earnings.
Google Play versus App Store
User spending rates also increased for both Apple and Android devices, though the former wins the head-to-head battle. It generated $9.8 billion while Android showed up with $6.5 billion for the same period.
Downloads also spiked as both platforms combined for a total of 11.1 billion. Google Play lords it over the App Store this time, accounting for 8.7 billion downloads over the latterâ€™s 2.3 billion.
PUBG Mobile Updates
And to make it even better, Tencent released the PUBG Mobile Update 0.15.0 just a couple of days ago. It features a new Payload Mode complete with more heavy weaponry such as grenade launchers and miniguns. Players can now operate a helicopter and take it into battle. Finally, users can also fix damaged vehicles with a repair pack and call in airstrikes as well.