PUBG Mobile is the world’s most popular mobile esport in terms of hours watched in 2020. According to a recent report from Esports Charts, the Tencent-developed battle royale shooter had 134.5 million hours watched. PUBG Mobile is followed by Garena’s Free Fire with 132.2 million watched hours. Bringing up the rear are MOBAs Arena of Valor and Mobile Legends Bang Bang with Clash Royale rounding off the list.
— Esports Charts (@EsportsCharts) July 7, 2021
This is interesting to see when you consider that PUBG Mobile was banned in one of its biggest markets, India in September 2020.
Earlier, Esports Charts claimed that while PUBG Mobile is watched the most by Indonesian viewers, India’s ban on the game definitely affected it. Despite the ban, India’s viewership still contributed 29.2 percent of the hours watched for PUBG Mobile in 2020. This made Hindi viewership for PUBG Mobile the second-largest last year.
Previously IGN India had reported that when PUBG Mobile was available in the country, revenue peaked at about $3 million per month largely on the back of its royale pass and vanity items. According to a recent episode of noted esports podcast FTWImad, Free Fire India revenue is about $1 million a month as per industry estimates.
With PUBG Mobile returning as Battlegrounds Mobile India and surpassing 40 million pre-registrations amidst a slew of planned tournaments, it will be interesting to see if the Krafton-owned IPs are able to maintain their dominance in 2021 as well.