TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the trending stories in gaming. In today’s news: PUBG Mobile is now the world’s most popular mobile game, Niantic suing Global++ hacking outfit, buys Sensible Object; and Oculus Quest sells USD$5m (£3.98m) of content in its first five weeks.
PUBG Mobile is now the world’s most popular mobile game
PUBG Mobile is now the world’s most popular mobile game, with over 400 million downloads. The title now also generates the highest global revenue in the mobile space, earning publisher Tencent USD$146m (£116.1m) last month alone.
PUBG Mobile has now overtaken its close rival, Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale, largely due to the release of a clone title, Game for Peace, which has allowed Tencent to monetise it in its home market of China. Previously regulatory restrictions were imposed in the country due to violence and lack of patriotism, meaning the free-to-play title was unable to generate money through its various microtransactions.
Despite the substantial revenue from PUBG Mobile, Tencent’s struggle with the Chinese Communist Party has driven the company’s debt to USD$26bn (£20.7bn), with an internal restructuring announced in October last year.
Niantic suing Global++ hacking association, buys Sensible Object
Pokemon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite developer Niantic is suing hacking association Global++ for releasing hacked versions of their titles, which enabled players to gain an unfair advantage over those using the genuine version of the app. Niantic’s devotion to countering cheating here seemingly demonstrates the commercial threat cheat tech poses to successful mobile games, with 77% of players likely to stop playing online multiplayer titles if they suspect other players are cheating.
Niantic has also purchased UK AR studio Sensible Object, which will become Niantic London, for an undisclosed amount. The first title from Sensible Object, the connected board game Beasts of Balance, raised over £165,000 on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
Oculus Quest sells USD$5m (£3.98m) of content in its first two weeks
Standalone VR/AR platform Oculus Quest has sold more than USD$5m (£3.98m) of content during its first fortnight, having been released at the end of May with 50 apps available at launch. Andrew Bosworth, VP of AR/VR at Facebook, Oculus’ parent company, revealed the figures at the Vox Media Code conference, although this has not been supported by a comprehensive breakdown at this early stage.
The success of the platform indicates that VR/AR has the momentum to accelerate beyond being a niche add-on to existing games consoles, however the profitability of the platform going forward will need to be assessed.