PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) has had an exceptional first year. The battle royale-themed shooter not only dominated Steam for 2017 but has, according to research firm SuperData, outshined the likes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch.
"Premium PC title PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was 2017’s breakout success, generating $712 million(around Rs. 4,500 crore) in revenue in just eight months. The title reinvigorated player interest in the battle royale genre, paving the way for similar games like Fortnite and Knives Out," a post from SuperData reads.
Comparatively, Overwatch earned $382 million (roughly Rs. 2,400 crore) while perennial e-sport favourite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive earned $341 million (approximately Rs. 2,200 crore). As for e-sports itself, SuperData claims that the e-sports industry is on track to become a billion dollar business in terms of revenue, clocking in $756 million (close to Rs. 4,800 crore) in 2017 with popular titles such as League of Legends and Overwatch attracting audiences of around 258 million unique viewers.
Other points of interest include the dominance of free-to-play games, which SuperData claims generates "$82 billion (approximately Rs. 53,000 crore) or 89 percent of the mobile and PC markets."
Moreover, consumers spent $14 billion (nearly Rs. 9,000 crore) more on mobile games in 2017 than in 2016. Titles such as Arena of Valor and Fantasy Westward Journey from Asian publishers like Tencent and NetEase contributed to a 31 percent year-over-year growth for the worldwide mobile market.
Where does India figure in all of this? While the number of smartphones keeps rising, the paying audience hasn't, ensuring the top charts for Android and iOS have remained for the most part, static. With game development and e-sports in a state of flux, it's safe to say the only direction for things to go is up.