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By Matt Kim 2
SuperData, a popular market intelligence provider, published some telling numbers about the war between Fortnite Battle Royale and PUBG, and it seems Fortnite is ahead in every respect. Things are looking down for PUBG, but its situation isn't desperate yet—and Bluehole can recapture its lead with some work.
Fortnite Battle Royale has more players than PUBG. It also has more Twitch viewers, it's making more money, and it generally has more of a presence in pop culture, especially amongst school-age kids. SuperData lays out the reasons why in a report frankly titled "Fortnite is eating PUBG’s lunch:" Fornite Battle Royale is free to download (PUBG has a cost of entry), its cartoonish graphics make it more kid-friendly, and PUBG is infamous for its problems with cheaters. Fortnite is also inescapable in pop culture thanks to shout-outs from celebrities like Drake.
Worse for PUBG, triple-A publishers are certain to flood the market with their own battle royale games in hopes of nabbing a bit the thunder. GTA Online already has Motor Wars, a battle royale sub-game involving a multi-car death battle.
However, SuperData predicts only a few battle royale games will remain relevant in the long term even if clones flood the market (much how League of Legends and DOTA 2 rule MOBAs). It says PUBG can be one of those winners—and maybe reclaim its position as the genre's number-one game.
"First, [Bluehole] should double down on the realistic, demanding gameplay. Potential battle royale competitors from AAA studios will likely cater to beginners," SuperData says. "PUBG can position itself as a more serious alternative, much like how hardcore shooters like Rainbow Six: Siege have found success even if they appeal to a smaller audience than Call of Duty." SuperData also stresses PUBG needs to find a permanent solution to its cheating problem as quickly as possible.
Whatever your preference, PUBG and Fortnite Battle Royale are competing very hard for your attention. PUBG Corp just announced Events are coming to PUBG, and Fortnite's weekly challenges are drawing in massive audiences. It's enough to make '90s kids who grew up with "Sega vs Nintendo" console wars feel nostalgic.
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