Despite PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) arguably being less popular than Fortnite: Battle Royale, the former has caught up to the number of players its rival has thanks to its mobile version, PUBG Mobile, which now has over 200 million players.
PUBG developer PUBG Corp. told the Verge about its game’s surprising figures, which also clocks in with around 30 million daily active users, same as Fortnite.
While Fortnite reached its 200 million player mark back in November, Bloomberg reported, and that such a figure has surely risen by now, there’s a good chance that PUBG actually has its rival beat in player numbers.
Those 200 million PUBG players only account for its mobile version, which also doesn’t count players in China where the game is much more popular than Fortnite. If we add the 50 million copies sold of the paid version of PUBG on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC, then it’s safe to say that PUBG may actually be more popular than Fortnite.
While Fortnite is the more popular game in the West, especially in the USA, PUBG holds a much more populous market in the East, especially in China and India.
China was quick to pick up PUBG over Fortnite because the country’s gaming population prefers gaming on PC or mobile than on consoles, Fortnite’s main platform. Consoles were banned in China until 2015, but by then PC and mobile gaming had more than enough time to get the country’s huge gaming population under its sway.
Another reason is that PUBG arrived much earlier than Fortnite, releasing on PC on March 2017, December 2017 on consoles, and then in March 2018 on mobile platforms.
Despite being released on September 2017, Fortnite has yet to arrive in China.
PUBG Mobile’s player numbers have also been buoyed by India. In a survey conducted by the free internet provider Jana, PUBG Mobile was far and away the most popular game among Indian players. With a gaming community that numbered 120 million in 2016, and would have grown significantly since then, Indian players have also pulled PUBG ahead of its competition.
It seems that the battle royale between the battle royales was not as one-sided as many first thought. With the recent release of its Winter Update and a new Winter map, we can expect PUBG to gather even more players and keep its rivalry with Fortnite heated.