When Epic Games and People Can Fly released Fortnite Battle Royale back in September 2017, many people called the game mode a clone of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and even the developer of that game, PUBG Corp., considered legal action. It now seems that PUBG Corp. was correct to be concerned about the burgeoning popularity of Fortnite, because the game mode has now grown from a PUBG rival to become the biggest battle royale game on the block.
According to a recent report, Fortnite has made more money than PUBG on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, surpassing PUBG Corp’s game in terms of revenue from February of this year. Since this is from February, information on either game’s performance on mobile is not included. Though it’s unlikely if that would make a difference since PUBG Mobile does not have micro-transactions enabled just yet.
As per gaming intelligence firm SuperData Research in a post titled ‘Fortnite is eating PUBG’s lunch’, Fortnite revenue passed PUBG by $23 million (approximately Rs. 149 crore) with a total of $126 million (roughly Rs. 818 crore). Till then PUBG had earned $103 million (around Rs. 669 crore). This isn’t all. Even in terms of viewership Fortnite has taken the lead. The colourful, cartoony shooter hit a total of 14 million unique viewers on Twitch versus the 8.7 million PUBG had in February. In terms of Twitch viewers, Fortnite saw 6.1 million in January versus PUBG’s 8.5 million.
Fortnite has handily surpassed PUBG in terms of some important engagement metrics like total Twitch viewers — at the time of this writing, Fortnite has about 178,000 viewers to PUBG’s 84,000.
According to SuperData PUBG revenue peaked in December. This was the month it left Steam Early Access on PC and launched on Xbox One. Comparatively, Fortnite’s trajectory steadily continued upwards. No surprise since Fortnite is immensely more accessible and its battle royale mode is free versus the $30 (Rs. 999 in India) price tag PUBG has. While both Fortnite and PUBG feature micro-transactions, the latter has been plagued with cheaters making it tough for its developers to devise new revenue streams and content compared to Fortnite’s steady roll out of events.
Throw in the fact that Fortnite mobile trounces what PUBG Mobile brings to the table in terms of controls and overall polish makes it the game of choice for now. At least in our experience.
Interestingly, SuperData Research draws parallels to the MOBA and CCG (collectible-card games) space in this write-up, likening the events in the battle royale genre to these two heavyweights.
“Competition in the battle royale space will likely get more fierce in the near future. Major publishers like Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft have the potential to bring AAA-level production values to the subgenre. However, even they cannot take too long to do so,” the report reads.
“As players become invested in certain titles, the battle royale category will likely start resembling top-heavy genres like MOBAs and collectible-card games (CCG). In 2017, League of Legends and Dota 2 owned 57 percent of the PC MOBA market. MOBAs from the biggest publishers like EA (Dawngate) and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (Infinite Crisis) have died off after arriving late to the party. Similarly, Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft controlled over half of the PC card game market last year.”
Fortnite is available now in early access for iOS devices, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Which game are you playing and why? PUBG or Fortnite? Let us know in the comments.