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How Fortnite is Making a Billon a Year

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“Fortnite: Battle Royale” may be free-to-play, but it has generated a billion dollars in revenue.

The game isn’t a flash in the pan success as it is expected to bring in $2 billion this year.

  • Fortnite: Battle Royale has generated over a billion dollars in revenue since its release.
  • All of this revenue is attributable to purchases within the game.
  • These purchases are purely aesthetic and offer no competitive advantage to players.
  • “Battle Royale” mode is expected to account for 12% of the gaming industry’s revenue in 2018.

Taking the World by Storm

The free “Fortnite: Battle Royale” game became explosively popular the moment it was released last fall.  Now, it has become a billion dollar business as a new SuperData report indicates that across all platforms, the game managed to generate $1.2 billion.

The report points to in-game purchases as the primary – nearly exclusive – method of Fortnite’s revenue generation.  Interestingly, the Fortnite in-game purchases do not offer any competitive advantage to gamers. Instead, the games sells a Battle Pass for $10.  The pass is completely optional and makes it possible for players to collect V-bucks, the in-game currency.  Players can then spend V-bucks to purchase digital accessories, costumes (called skins) or even dance moves for their game character.

According to SuperData, Fortnite’s success is due to four factors:

  • It’s economic system. 
  • Availability on a large number of platforms. 
  • Increased interest of celebrities. 
  • Easy learning.

Celebrities Generating Buzz

Fortnite’s strength is its resounding success with many celebrities: professional sportsmen, singers and others Youtubers regularly evoke the game on their social networks.

Frances Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring their second goal
Image: Frances Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring their second goal. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

The game’s celebrations were even portrayed in the finals of the World Cup football : Antoine Griezmann briefly reproduced a dance of the game during the match on April 5.

Spending V-Bucks

Players can spend their time in the game itself, earning V-bucks so they can purchase all those digital products within the game.  However, for people who don’t want to spend their time earning digital money, they can use real currency to purchase the V-bucks they need.  The current “exchange” between V-bucks and real money is 1,000 V-bucks for $9.99 USD.

Accessories, skins and dance moves are sold for different prices.  That said, the most expensive among the skins is currently sold for 2,000 V-bucks (which can be earned within the game or purchased for $20 USD).

What’s in a Game?

The game itself is a form of first-person shooter game in which the player views the game world through the eyes of his or her character.  From there, the player must scavenge for supplies and weapons with the ultimate goal of being the last person standing.

Last fall, the game was launched as a PC and PlayStation 4 game.  Today it is a free-to-play game for PC, any gaming console and even in iOS mobile devices. It’s also one of the most popular games in the e-sports genre. 

The “Fortnite: Battle Royale” was originally created as a free-to-play form of early access game for the complete “Fortnite” title.  That game took Epic Games five years to develop and was sold as a $60 zombie survival game.  The free version is now significantly more popular than the original.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.