PUBG Mobile
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

PUBG Mobile has generated the highest revenue among mobile games this year across Google’ Play Store and Apple’s App Store globally, according to a report by Sensor Tower.

The report based on Sensor Tower’s Store Intelligence data shows that Tencent’s PUBG Mobile, combined with its Chinese localized title ‘Game for Peace’, has generated close to $2.6 billion in revenue in 2020, becoming the No. 1 revenue-generating mobile game globally. The $2.6 billion revenue reflects a YoY increase of 64.3%, despite being cut-off from one of its biggest markets: India.

According to the report, five mobile games have generated more than a $1 billion in revenue this year, compared to only three in 2019. And it might come as a surprise, but PUBG Mobile isn’t the only game by game publisher Tencent which made it to the top five.

Tencent’s Honor of Kings takes the second position, with $2.5 billion revenue, which is very close to PUBG Mobile’s total revenue. It is followed by Pokemon Go with $1.2 billion revenue, which completes the list of top three mobile games of this year with the highest revenue.

It is interesting to note that PUBG Mobile managed to grab the first spot on the list even after it lost one of its biggest userbase, which was in India. The game, along with 117 other Chinese apps, was banned in September over privacy and national security concerns under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

However, the game is expected to return to India soon, as Krafton, the maker of the game, has ended its partnership with Tencent for PUBG Mobile in India. The company also began its collaboration with Microsoft, which will provide secure cloud services for its games.

The game’s parent company announced in November that the game will return to India as “PUBG Mobile India.” The specifics of the launch such as the release date, depend on whether or not the game will receive the approval of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

Overall, 2020 has been a great year for mobile games. The other two games to exceed $1 billion in revenue are Coin Master and Roblox, with $1.1 billion revenue each. The global mobile games market has generated a whopping $75.4 billion in total, which is up 19.5% from 2019. The lifestyle changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic are being attributed as the major cause for the rapid growth of the industry, as it is for most of the growth in the tech world this year.