PUBG Mobile makes millions from players in India: Here's how
We all know about the fan-following of PUBG Mobile, aka PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. The famous battle royale game has driven a frenzy in India, raking millions of downloads since its launch in March last year. And now, a report from Entrackr has put a figure on PUBG's success, claiming that the title's publisher, Tencent, has been making millions every month from Indians alone. Here's how.
Tencent making $7-8 million/month from in-game merchandise sales
Multiple people familiar with Tencent's financials and earnings revealed that the company has been making $7-8 million (~Rs. 60cr) per month in the Indian market since May 2019. But, the earning isn't the weird part, it's how the money is being made. The sources claimed that PUBG has been driving most of these earnings by selling in-game merchandise like guns, jackets to the players.
People paying to make their game character look better, different
"The money was made by selling skins that make your character in the game look different," one of the sources told Entrackr. "People paid for cosmetics. Imagine! None of what you buy inside the game affects the gameplay. It's a vanity metric."
'Royal Pass' main revenue contributor
Further, the sources claimed that the revenue from India was fairly less in the initial months of PUBG Mobile's launch. The company had earned $6.8 million in the first 12 months, but then, since May 2019, the numbers started spiking. They clocked an average revenue of over $7 million/month, with large contributions coming from the 'Royal Pass' that offers better rewards, 'skins', faster rank-ups.
Royal Pass pushes revenue further
"There's always spike in revenue in the months of the Royal Pass release," another source said, emphasizing on the contribution of the Royal Pass released once in two months. "The next is in September. On an average revenue is in the range of $7.5-8 million."
PUBG's user-base has also grown phenomenally over the years
The mind-boggling revenue figures come just as PUBG's user-base continues to grow across the world. In fact, going by numbers, the free-to-download game boasts more than 100 million monthly active users around the world, with 23-30 million being Indians. Every day around 13 million people in the country log into the game, the sources told Entrackr.
Now, Tencent would look forward to build on these figures
That said, Tencent's focus would now be to build on these numbers and continue the vanity metric. Currently, less than 1% of the company's monthly active users in India are paying for in-app products. To make this model sustainable, it would have to come up with more ways to get the growing player-base to shop within the game.