The runaway success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has largely been fueled by Twitch streamers and YouTube videos in a sort of viral marketing campaign. While Bluehole’s efforts to market the game in a non-traditional method have paid off, a new SuperData Research report released Monday reveals just how quickly PUBG has grown.
PUBG viewership on Twitch grew to 202 million unique viewers in October versus a player count of over around 13 million at the start of October, according to SteamSpy. Note that this is Twitch viewers only and does not count YouTube, which has well over 10,000 videos created a day related to the game.
League of Legends still holds the largest viewing audience on Twitch with more than 286 million unique viewers. Riot Games has not shared an official player count, but SuperData estimates there are approximately 84 million monthly active users for the title and has over 100 million owners. That puts the makes approximately three times the Twitch views to owners.
Interestingly, October was also the same month PUBG sales began exploding once again. It jumped to over 19 million owners by the end of the month, per SteamSpy, and sits at over 25 million owners today, as Bluehole touted in the official release announcement video.
The tremendous viewership to owner totals in PUBG set the stage for it to potentially be an esports hit once it officially releases. SuperData expects the esports industry to fetch $1.5 billion this year and grow to as much as 2.3 billion by 2022.
Bluehole made an esports test run with PUBG during a Gamescom Invitational tournament in August. The event was largely a success but was still rife with issues between the game still being in Steam Early Access and the production team learning how to broadcast a match that starts with 100 players.
How to follow and present the action in a PUBG match will be a challenge for the title in esports. The large Twitch viewership suggests it will have a sizeable start out of the gate, which means Bluehole will need to seize the opportunity by avoiding any stumbles.
PUBG is set to officially launch on Wednesday, December 20, for the PC. Bluehole is currently testing the new Miramar desert map on the game’s test servers. The Xbox One version is also set to launch into the early access-like Game Preview program on December 12 and will include all content and features except the Miramar map.