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‘Fortnite’ on App Store Usurped by ‘PUBG Mobile’ in January

Player spending in “PUBG Mobile” overtook the amount spent in the iOS version of “Fortnite” last month for the first time, according to Sensor Tower.

Global spending in “PUBG Mobile” was up 24% from December, with players spending an estimated $45.2 million on the App Store and Google Play versions of the game. “Fortnite” on mobile made Epic Games an estimated $37.9 million last month, by comparison. The caveat, as noted by mobile market intelligence provider Sensor Tower, is that this is only accounting for the iOS version of the dominating battle royale game, as compared to the Apple and Android versions of “PUBG Mobile.”

Mobile spending in “Fortnite” for Android devices was not taken into account because the title is available for download directly from Epic Games, and not from the Google Play store. Still, Epic Games saw a significant month-over-month decline in spending for the iOS version of its top title, as spending dropped 45% from December.

Many factors could be affecting the decline in the iOS version of “Fortnite.” The drop comes after the holidays, and since “Fortnite” appeals to a wide range of players, including the youth demographic, part of the decline could be that many young players’ holiday funds were spent in December. It could also be a sign that the massively popular battle royale game is simply starting to decline in public appeal.

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“PUBG Mobile” and the original “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” has a more realistic, violent aesthetic and tends to attract older players, which could mean it is growing its playerbase at a more gradual pace than “Fortnite.” The mobile game’s total revenue is an estimated $242 million worldwide, compared to “Fortnite’s” $500 million on iOS alone. Tencent cannot offer in-app purchases on “PUBG Mobile” in China, which would further boost sales. Still, the mobile title has a long way to go to match the success of its competitor.

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