How PUBG Mobile Revolutionized Mobile Gaming

PUBG's significant contribution to revolutionizing mobile gaming industry deserves some attention and appreciation.

How PUBG revolutionized Mobile Gaming
How PUBG revolutionized Mobile Gaming

Yesterday, after a gap of about a year, I re-installed Players Unknown Battleground (PUBG-M). During the lockdown a couple of years ago, I was so into it that I spent hours daily pushing rank with my teammates and doing the ‘Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner’ dance. It was a peculiar case for me, as I don’t often find mobile games fun in any way.

As I reflect on the game’s magnificent journey throughout the years, its astonishing impact on the promotion of mobile gaming becomes more obvious.

Key Takeaways

  • PUBG’s decision to transition from a console-based game to a mobile game in 2018 has proved to be a significant move in promoting mobile gaming.
  • Providing the players with the same features as on a console, such as adjustable graphics, frame rates, and settings, proved to be a step towards providing mobile players with an all-encompassing addictive gaming experience.
  • Organizing E-sport events and targeting specific audiences and regions while also collaborating with globally recognized artists and brands are some other steps contributing to the game’s popularity.
My PUBG stats
While I have achieved over 20 kills in a single game, this screenshot is only to brag about my KD.

Tencent’s Revolutionary Move And PUBG’s Popularity

Transitioning from console-based platforms to mobile phones proved to be Tencent’s best move. By the way, it was the same month in 2018 when the game was released for mobile phones. Since then, it has proved to be unstoppable in revolutionizing and dominating the industry.

With over a billion downloads on mobile for all its variants, PUBG-M has over 300 million monthly active users. How has it revolutionized mobile gaming? Here are a few arguments supporting this subject:

Featuring The Same Controls As In PC

What differentiated PUBG from most mobile games at that time was how it provided the players with the same mechanisms, settings, and controls as they did for console players.

Mobile players were getting almost the same experience as PC players. This was a kind of new thing for mobile players and proved to be very effective in the game’s promotion.

Crispy Adjustable Graphics

Now, this is another important factor, in my opinion, that takes the mobile gaming experience to a whole new level. Garena Free Fire was a good competitor to PUBG after its release. However, PUBG dominates it in every regard because of its crispy graphics, which make the game look more realistic.

While the graphics in PUBG-M are not as crisp as in the PC version, the available options and the adjustable frame rates are still innovations in the mobile gaming industry.

Immersive Battle Royale Experience

Unlike the other competitors in the market, PUBG’s battle royale experience was unmatched. Players can team up, strategize, connect, and communicate simultaneously while fighting against other teams using different weapons on widespread landscapes, maps, and locations. 

All of these features were later adopted by other competitors as well, attracting a wider audience and making mobile gaming more attractive and interesting. 

Targeting Specific Audiences And Regions

PUBG-M specifically targeted those regions where console gaming was not as popular. For example, most people couldn’t afford expensive consoles in the south-Asian and Southeast-Asian countries. With many young people and potential users residing in this region, PUBG-M targeted these regions specifically. 

China and India lead the way with most players. The developers have created separate versions to accommodate players from these countries (Battlegrounds Mobile India and Game For Peace in China). When PUBG-M was banned in India, the controversy drew even more attention to the game and attracted more audiences when its local version was released.

Similarly, the ban on the game also resulted in the promotion of similar games. Hence, making the mobile gaming industry even stronger. For example, Call of Duty Mobile earned over 1.15 million new users while Free Fire had 2.1 million new downloads during this period.

Competitive Esports On Mobiles

Even though mobile esports was still a thing before PUBG-M was released. However, Asia saw a sudden boom, with various esports events sponsored by PUBG-M offering millions of dollars in prize money to teams worldwide in different tournaments. 

Mobile esports, now a full-time career, attracts hundreds of thousands of new players yearly, giving a well-deserved boom to mobile gaming. I think it would be fair to credit PUBG-M for this sudden shift. 

Collaborations And Updates

PUBG-M collaborates regularly with big names in almost every field of life to reach an even more widespread audience. PUBG-M has collaborated with Alan Walker, Sabrina Carpenter, and BlackPink, especially in the entertainment industry. On regional levels, PUBG collaborates with content creators and streamers to grab the attention of new players and retain their previous users.

Similarly, through consistent upgrades, collaborations with Tesla, Resident Evil 2, and Spiderman: No Way Home ensure players are completely hooked on the game.

Timely updates also introduce new features, maps, weapons, and events with certain rewards while eliminating bugs and glitches. All these strategies ensure players never lose interest in the game, and further new players are attracted to it. All these marketing strategies have resulted in PUBG-M generating 1.15 Billion USD in 2023 according to Statista.

Annual Revenue of PUBG in 2023
Annual Revenue of PUBG in 2023

The Interesting Phenomenon Involving Budget Phone Companies

Capitulating to the rising trend of mobile gaming, mobile phone companies found an opportunity to increase their user base. There is a rising trend of budget phones with powerful CPUs and larger batteries solely to cater to the needs of mobile gamers. This trend has seen a surge following the takeover of the gaming industry by mobile gaming with over 50% of the market share in 2018.

As I observe this situation closely, especially in Asian regions, I see a symbiotic relationship forming between mobile phone companies and mobile games, both benefiting from each other. For example, as people could not buy flagships for gaming, they resorted to these budget phones.

Keeping these points in mind, it is safe to say that PUBG-M has revolutionized the mobile gaming industry. I must also be clear here that there are of course other competitors of equal value who are doing just as good for the promotion of the industry.

However, the impact that PUBG-M holds is significantly more visible than the other games like Fortnite, Free Fire, Clash of Clans, etc.

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