PUBG Mobile now has 200 million players – putting the mobile game on par with Epic Games’ fan-favourite Fortnite.
According to The Verge, this isn’t even inclusive of China’s mobile players or PUBG’s 50 million console and PC user bases, which means there may be millions more yet to be taken into account when considering the franchise as a whole.
PUBG Mobile was finally released to Western audiences in March 2018. Mobile PUBG, created in partnership with Chinese tech megacorp Tencent, was soft launched on the Canadian Google Play store. The game was billed as the "officially licensed PUBG on mobile", offering an impressive mobile version of the full console experience.
Despite reports that PUBG Mobile publisher Tencent is reportedly cutting its marketing budget following a market slowdown driven by the regulatory disruption in China, business information provider IHS Markit reported international mobile game revenue has grown year-over-year by 382 per cent since January 2018, jumping from $78 million to $376 million.
Last month Tencent announced it will be restructuring for the first time in six years following increasing challenges dealing with Chinese governmental regulations for the gaming industry. The megacorp was hit with a fall in profits for the first time in 13 years owing to the very same Chinese regulatory issues that have pushed the decision to restructure.
Tencent also recently announced that it will expand its player identity verification processes across all its games by the end of 2019 after governmental pressure to reduce game addiction, minimise underage players, and curtail short-sightedness. The new legislation, introduced in August, has made it increasingly difficult for Tencent – which, by sales, is the world’s biggest game company – to release new titles or include microtransactions or in-app purchases. Its last release was back in March, pushing its share price down by 28 per cent and reducing the company’s market value by $138 billion.