I think it is safe to say that “battle royale” games are all the rage today - just look at how many of them are active on the market as we speak. Many major game studios want a slice of the battle royale cake today, including Riot Games that broke into the market with the launch of Valorant and ActivisionBlizzard and its free-to-play title Call of Duty: Warzone. Still, the market is dominated by just a handful of well-known titles like Fortnite Battle Royale by Epic and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. And the latter just crossed a major landmark: it sold its 70-millionth unit.

Pubg Mobile
It is safe to say that “battle royale” games are all the rage today.

PUBG: A short history

PUBG was created by Brendan Greene, better known by his game alias PlayerUnknown, the developer behind the popular ArmA 2 mod DayZ: Battle Royale. An avid gamer himself, Greene found shooters to be repetitive with small maps that were easy to memorize and wanted to create something better. Playing around with a custom DayZ server and teaching himself programming as he proceeded with the development.

PUBG was created by Brendan Greene, better known by his game alias PlayerUnknown

The development of a standalone PUBG began in 2016 by South Korean studio Bluehole, with Greene serving as a creative director. The game went in “early access” in 2017, followed by a “final” release later in the year - on PC, at first. The following years saw the game launch on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and mobile, followed by Lite versions on PC and mobile, and finally, launch on Stadia this year.

As of December 2019, the game was the third most-played game in the world with more than 600 million active players, beating competitors like Fortnite by hundreds of millions of players.

Sales exceed 70 million

As you might expect, the number of active players on free platforms far exceeds that of the ones who actually buy the game. This doesn’t mean, in turn, that nobody buys it - on the contrary. By the end of 2019, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds racked up sales of around 60 million units, and in the first six months of this year, it added 10 million more to the total.

The highest number of PUBG players probably comes from mobile - recent reports speak of more than 600 million downloads - where the games can be played for free. PUBG’s recent report about its sales didn’t break down the numbers per platform, so there’s no way to know how many of the units were bought for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. The fact that PUBG is constantly among the most-played games on Steam gives a good indication of its most popular platform.