Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale may only be getting half as many downloads on mobile as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but that isn’t stopping it from earning five times as much in revenue.
According to Bloomberg, PUBG Mobile earned $19 million (£14m) in an 11-week period ending on 18th June. In the same time, Fortnite on iOS earned a whopping $92m (£69.5m) in revenue. There may be twice as many PUBG Mobile players out there, but Fortnite players are spending a lot more money on their game of choice.
Both games are free to download on mobile devices but Fortnite is currently only available on iOS, with an Android release planned for later in the year. PUBG Mobile is already available on both iOS and Android, which is probably the reason for its higher download numbers; there are just more people in the world who can get the game right now.
PUBG kicked off the battle royale game craze in March of last year, and a boatload of copycats have emerged in the months since. But only Fortnite is a serious competitor for the battle royale throne, hooking players with colourful graphics and a constant stream of content updates.
Even though it’s been out for longer, PUBG is still only available on PC, Xbox One and mobile devices, while Fortnite can also be played on PS4, Mac and Nintendo Switch. If you’ve got a device with a screen then it can probably play Fortnite (sorry, Android users). That’s why we’ve all been hearing so much about the game lately: basically anyone can jump in and try it out.
You also have to pay just to start playing PUBG on Windows or Xbox, whereas Fortnite is free to play on all devices. Fortnite makes its money by selling V-Bucks and Battle Passes, letting players unlock flashy skins and extra perks.
PUBG recently introduced a suspiciously familiar ‘Royale Pass’, which has boosted the game’s earnings. But it’s still not a patch on the ridiculous amount of money that players are spending on Fortnite, which made $318 in May alone across all platforms.
What do you think of all this? Are you on Team PUBG or Team Fortnite? Who do you think will win the battle royale of battle royale games?
Words by Tom Blagden