Knives Out Finds Success In Japan, Makes $24 Million In Feb

The birthplace of the Battle Royale movie has finally embraced the budding video game genre. The mobile PUBG-clone Knives Out (similar to Rules of Survival) has proven to be a big hit in Japan.

According to data from Sensor Tower, Japan was responsible for 80% of the global revenue (ex-China) that Knives Out brought in for NetEase during the month of February. Japanese gamers are the most valuable mobile players worldwide; average revenue per user (ARPU) is at $90, far above European or North American rates.

Thanks to Japan's embrace of the game, Knives Out now brings in as much global revenue, at ~$12 million, as it does domestically in China. That puts estimates of total revenue for the month of February at $24 million. This may even prove to be a low estimate since Android phones in China don't use the Google Play Store. Sensor Tower does not track individual Chinese Andoid App Stores.

Knives Out again proves how important the first mover advantage really is. NetEast beat Tencent to market with a mobile variant of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds and has reaped the rewards. China is far looser with its copyright/IP laws. Some view that as a problem, but it does have the effect of dramatically speeding up development cycles.

Tencent hasn't been resting on its laurels, however. They now have two seperate mobile PUBG games available: PUBG: Army Attack, and PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield (PUBGEB.) No word yet on a Western release for the two PUBG mobile games, but Knives Out is already available worldwide. Western players have access to a very similar title called Rules of Survival.

Further Reading: Seeking Alpha Report, Pocket Gamer Report