PUBG: Battlegrounds is making a lot more money after playing for free
The first free Battlegrounds had a modest revenue of $10 million, which translates to around $1.4 million per day for the first three months of operation.
PUBG: Battlegrounds, the PC and console version of the battle royale shooter series, is making a lot of money following its move to free-to-play in January, as developer Krafton's latest earnings report released on Friday revealed.
According to the report on PC, sales increased 61 percent year over year to $82.3 million. The sales increase was even greater on console, up 124% from the previous quarter and up 274% year-over-year, though Krafton didn't put a dollar figure behind those increases. The game also saw a "nearly triple" increase in average monthly active users since Q4 2021.
PUBG: Battlegrounds was originally a paid title when it launched on Steam in early access in 2017, but the huge financial success of free-to-play battle royale shooters like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends may be the model for gaming quite lucrative. To give you an idea of just how lucrative, EA said this week that Apex Legends, a game that's been out for just over three years, has surpassed $2 billion in lifetime net bookings. And Epic raised $144 million for Ukraine relief with just two weeks of profit from Fortnite.
So for Krafton, switching PUBG: Battlegrounds to free-to-play was probably a pretty easy decision. And the popularity of PUBG: Mobile (which is also free) probably helped; Krafton says the game, which has been downloaded more than a billion times as of March 2021, brought in $307.1 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2022, a figure that was up 5 percent year over year.