In its freshly released financials, PUBG Corp boasts a $920M global revenue for 2018, $310M of which is profit. Its PC platform brought in the majority of proceeds, accounting for $790M of the overall picture. PUBG Mobile is published by Tencent so is likely not fully covered by this report. This makes the remaining $130M the game’s console haul.
The original PC version of the game was estimated to have made about $712M worldwide during its first eight months back in 2017, so year over year, the published numbers do not represent a tremendous growth. That said, these latest ones are set in a post-Fortnite world, which make them a lot more impressive. (Fortnite is thought to have brought in $2.4 billion in revenue over 2018).
PUBG Corp also revealed that a lot of these revenues are coming from the East, with the Korean and general Asian markets together bringing in almost 64 percent of the total. This share is expected to grow even more as the company rolls out its China esports plans later this year, but it is also a cause for concern. Both the mobile and desktop versions of its game have been subject to calls for banning by the region’s local governments.
In this regard, it looked like things were finally going the company’s way in India, with some of the municipalities originally forbidding the game before now withdrawing these prohibitions. Unfortunately, the Madras High Court’s recent banning of video app TikTok has emboldened the remaining objectors. They are now seeking a similar order to make PUBG Mobile completely unavailable in the country.
In Nepal, meanwhile, the Supreme Court has decided to stay a ban on the game that was imposed by the nation’s telecom authority. It has asked officials to justify their fears about the title first, which amounted to “we are concerned about children playing it too much” at the time. Iraq, too, has banned play of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, as well as its competitor Fortnite. Negative effects related to violence, mental health, and society’s morals are cited as reasons here as well
With a recent Oxford study finding no relationship between video games and violence in adolescents, it is easy to dismiss such calls. For a company that makes most of its money in these more traditional regions, however, they do pose a very real risk. We’re likely to find out how PUBG Corp intends to address it in the coming months.
Writer, developer and esports observer from the land of cheese and windmills.