The South Korean company behind PUBG, Krafton revealed that the PC and console version of the battle royale shooter franchise is making a lot of money despite going free-to-play in January 2022.
According to Krafton, the game earned $307.1 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2022, up 5 per cent year over year (YoY), after being downloaded more than one billion times as of March 2021.
Sales on PC were boosted 61 per cent YoY to $82.3 million. The surge in console sales was even higher, up 124 per cent from the previous quarter and 274 per cent on a YoY basis, though Krafton did not disclose a cash amount for the period.
From Q4 2021 to Q4 2022, PUBG’s average monthly active users nearly tripled.
When PUBG: Battlegrounds first arrived in early access on Steam in 2017, it was a premium title, but free-to-play battle royale games like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends established that the free model can be highly profitable.
In fact, converting PUBG: Battlegrounds to free-to-play turned out highly beneficial for Krafton. The widely played PUBG: Mobile is already free to download on iOS and Android devices.
Electronic Arts (EA) also announced that Apex Legends, which has been out for a little over three years, crossed $2 billion in lifetime net bookings in just two weeks, While Epic raised $144 million for Ukraine aid.