According to a report by data analyst Sensor Tower, Garena's Free Fire has overtaken PUBG Mobile to become the highest-grossing mobile game in the US during Q1 2021. Free Fire generated approximately $100 million from player spending during Q1 2021.
This is a 4.5 times increase in Free Fire's revenue compared to Q1 2020. PUBG Mobile, on the other hand, generated $68 million in player spending which is a 9% increase compared to the first quarter of last year.
Battle Royale: the most profitable mobile gaming genre?
It seems that mobile battle royale games are a fan favorite. PUBG Mobile was released in 2018 and since then, it has registered over 1 billion downloads. PUBG Mobile offers a battle royale experience that is similar to its PC counterpart. In terms of generated revenue, PUBG Mobile was the top mobile game of 2020 and also the highest-grossing game of February 2021.
Free Fire is also a mobile battle royale game that generates millions in player spending every year. Activision's Call of Duty: Mobile has a battle royale mode but the game is widely popular for its 5v5 multiplayer mode. In Q1 of 2021, PUBG Mobile was the highest-grossing mobile game with a revenue of over $740 million. Free Fire followed with $255 million, and CODM was third with $182 million. All of these games also boast a massive esports scene.
Recently, Reuters sent out a report that said CODM's developer TiMi Studios, a subsidiary of Tencent, generated $10 billion in 2020.