Tencent’s PUBG rebrand is world’s top-grossing mobile battle royale title

By Tony Xu
1 min read
Promotion page for Tencent’s “Game for Peace.” (Image Credit: TechNode)

Two months have passed since Tencent rebranded China’s version of “PUBG Mobile” as “Game for Peace,” and the mobile battle royale game has swiftly become the highest-grossing title in the genre, bringing in $860 million as of July, according to a report from analytics firm Sensor Tower.

Why it matters: Tencent still leads the market for this type of game despite intense competition from arch-rival NetEase with its “Knives Out” title and global sensation “Fortnite” from US developer Epic Games.

  • Total revenue from “PUBG Mobile” and “Game for Peace” combined is five times greater than those of the two closest competitors.

Details: Player spending on “PUBG Mobile,” which includes that of Game for Peace,” surged 748% annually to $167 million in July, making it the top-grossing mobile title globally for a third consecutive month.

  • “Game for Peace” has brought in a total of $241 million in player spending in the last 60 days, accounting for more than one-quarter of total revenue since it launched in February 2018. The figures do not include spending from third-party Chinese Android stores.
  • In the US market, “PUBG Mobile” also posted a 565% year-over-year surge in revenue last month to $32 million.
  • Epic Games’ “Fortnite” and NetEase’s “Knives Out” have grossed $725 million and $771 million since launch, respectively.
  • The strong performance has helped Tencent become the top-grossing publisher as of July, raking in more than $679 million from in-app purchases, 39% higher year-on-year.

Context: Tencent had been unable to monetize “PUBG Mobile” in China for more than a year due to a freeze on approvals from China’s game regulator, the State Administration of Press and Publication (SAPP).

  • The company relaunched the game as “Game for Peace” in May, preserving the core gameplay but adding a more patriotic flavor.
  • “Game for Peace” grossed more than $14 million in its first 72 hours on Apple’s China App Store.