Fortnite is raking in money while PUBG racks up downloads

For a while now, the titans of the battle royale sub-genre Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have been vying for our attention and favor. But now that both platforms have launched on mobile, it feels like the fight has reached an entirely new level.

Both games have only been available on smartphones for a week now and though they’re very similar in terms of what they offer, their releases have been approached in very different ways. While Fortnite has launched in a limited invite-only form on iOS, PUBG has decided on a worldwide full release on both Android and iOS. 

In this short time, both games have proven massively successful but as you’d expect, their success has been marked in very different ways. In part thanks to its wide availability, PUBG is currently storming the download charts.

Figure fight

At this moment, PUBG Mobile is the most downloaded game on the Apple App store and has moved ahead of Fortnite on the US downloads chart. Not only that, the game has managed to snag the number one download spot in 48 countries already making PUBG Mobile one of the top two most downloaded games on Apple’s store.

With its less widespread release, Fortnite Mobile couldn’t hope to achieve download figures of this scale. What it has managed to do, though, is make enough money to earn a place in the top-grossing charts.

Mobile analytics firm SensorTower estimates Epic has pulled in as much as $1.5 million from in-app purchases on the iOS port alone in less than one week. This means it’s pulling in significantly more revenue than its immediate mobile competitors and puts it on a level with some of the biggest grossing mobile releases in years like Pokemon Go and Clash Royale. 

Both of these titles earned around $4.5 million in their first four days, but given Fortnite has yet to have its full release there’s still room for growth. 

Given that Fortnite is free on mobile, PC and console it relies on players wishing to purchase its cosmetic in-game items to make revenue. It seems like a risky move but it’s clearly one that’s working: in the month of February, Fortnite managed to bring in a revenue of $126 million.

This marks the first time Fortnite has surpassed its rival PUBG in terms of earnings and is a testament to its meteoric rise in popularity. That’s not, however, to say PUBG is struggling - Bluepoint’s title still brought in $103 million in the month of February, though while its mobile game is free its PC and Xbox releases are sold as full games.

While the battle of the battle royales rages on, it appears that Fortnite is pulling away in the money making stakes, with room to grow in its mobile release. PUBG’s developers however, have now committed to their spring roadmap and with plans to introduce new maps and stamp out cheating, it’s all to play for. 

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.