Despite India ban Tencent’s ‘PUBG Mobile’ passes $3.5 billion in accumulated player revenue

For thousands of gamers across India. Tencent’s PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile video game was a source of providing entertainment and earning money during the coronavirus pandemic. The Indian government then announced that they were banning it. 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.

“Revenue looks set to remain strong, despite a ban in India.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,” Sensor Tower’s mobile insights strategist Craig Chapple, wrote in a report. “

The game was an instrumental in fast pacing the growth of online gaming on smartphones in the Indian market. In a data which was shared by Sensor Tower earlier, the mobile version of PUBG Mobile saw about 18.5 crore downloads in India, while the PUBG Mobile Lite saw about 9.24 crore downloads. 

According to the recent report Sensor Tower estimate 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 United States comes in third with 6.3 per cent.