Tencent’s battle royale game PUBG Mobile recorded its best month yet in terms of overseas revenue, as lockdown orders that seek to prevent the spread of COVID-19 continue to be enforced in many countries, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.
As the world’s most popular battle royale game on mobile platforms, PUBG Mobile raked in $92.8 million in April, marking its most profitable month since its launch in March 2017 and the top-grossing title from Chinese gaming companies in overseas markets for April. In March 2020, PUBG Mobile released its season 12 update, pushing the title’s overseas revenue for the month to $91.0 million.
Call of Duty: Mobile, a first-person shooter title developed by Tencent’s TiMi Studios and published by Activision, also benefited from the rise in playtime during COVID-19 lockdowns. The game grossed $43 million in April, marking a 70.5% month over month increase, primarily attributable to a series of adjustments made to the title’s Battle Pass system. According to Sensor Tower estimates, Call of Duty: Mobile could see substantial revenue growth in the near future.
PUBG Mobile is one of the most popular mobile games across the globe, having been downloaded more than 600 million times outside of China as of December 2019 and boasting more than 50 million daily active users as of June 2019. The game started seeing a surge in revenues after introducing a season pass system in June 2018.
The Chinese version of PUBG Mobile, Peacekeeper Elite, has also been wildly popular, bringing in $614 million on iOS alone within seven months after being launched in the country in May 2019, according to statistics from Sensor Tower. Peacekeeper Elite came as an effort from Tencent to monetize PUBG Mobile in China, which did not receive a license from the country’s game regulator for more than a year. Compared to its overseas version, Peacekeeper Elite removed some content that could be deemed too violent and added some patriotic elements.