Fortnite is probably one of, if not the biggest game on the planet right now, but for all of its millions of players, the one cloud hanging over its success has been its free-to-play nature. Of course 60 million people are playing, it's free, folks will boldly claim, overlooking that nearly every F2P game in history has never reached these heights. Well, now we’ve got some financials to go with that player count, and Epic Games is probably going to need a bigger bank vault.
Superdata Research has been crunching the numbers in its digital games report and come to the conclusion that Fortnite generated a staggering $223 million in revenue during March alone, a growth of 72% compared to February. Its total revenue generated has now overtaken PUBG. If that success were to continue, it would generate $2.7 billion annually. That’s just a few million dollars short of the highest movie box office of all time, for Avatar in 2009. If Fortnite’s player base were to swell beyond March’s peak, well, the sky’s the limit.
The results make Fortnite the highest earning console game in the world for March 2018, beating out Far Cry 5’s launch sales. It’s also the 5th highest grossing PC game behind Dungeon Fighter Online, League of Legends, Fantasy Westward Journey Online II, and Crossfire. What’s scarier is these figures don’t take into account the new mobile iPhone version which launched on April 2nd, while an Android version of Fortnite is also imminent. Since its launch on iOS, Fortnite has become the highest grossing game on mobile in the US.
What’s incredible about this success is not just the speed of it, but that these numbers are being pulled in from cosmetic sales alone. Fortnite has no player progression system outside of skins, emotes, and banners, but these have been enough to drive sales of also a quarter of a billion dollars in a single month.
In the rest of the gaming world, Far Cry 5 sounds as if it’s been an unqualified success for Ubisoft. The figures from Superdata only take into account digital sales, with an estimated 2.5 million copies sold digitally since its March 27th release date. On consoles, Far Cry 5’s digital launch sales were 500% higher than for Far Cry Primal.
Fortnite then; a monumental success but is it here to stay? Are we going to see a greater shift from AAA games towards the F2P business model in the coming years? Let us know what you think!
Source: Superdata Research