Analyst: PUBG out-earned every other premium PC and console game in 2018

SuperData has assembled its annual Year in Review report, rounding up the top earners across digital games, virtual reality, and gaming video content (GVC) to trace the growth of each sector year-to-year. 

Digital revenue for premium games on PC and console, for instance, jumped 10 percent since the preceding year, coming in at $17.8 billion for 2018. The category was led by PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the game that kickstarted the ongoing battle royale boom way back in 2017. 

PUBG alone brought in $1.03 billion in revenue last year, though that figure doesn’t include any income generated by the Android version. That number represents a 19 percent increase over its 2017 earnings, a jump that SuperData notes came even as other battle royale games like Epic Games’ Fortnite eclipsed it in player numbers. 

FIFA 18 was the next top earner in that category with $790 million, followed by Grand Theft Auto V ($628 million). The fourth and fifth top premium games in terms of revenue, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2, both released late in the year but still managed to rank in the top half of SuperData’s roundup. Black Ops 4, which released October 12, generated $612 million in 2018 while Red Dead Redemption 2, released October 26, raked in $516 million. 

Those numbers barely stand up to the top revenue earners from SuperData’s free-to-play section, of course. Free-to-play games brought in a total of $87.7 billion last year alone, which makes for 80 percent of total digital game revenue for the year.

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