Having burst onto the scene in 2017, Fortnite has since become a worldwide phenomenon, amassing 350 million players across the globe as of May 2020. When looking at mobile shooter game downloads, it is clear that the mobile version of Fortnite has also been a great success, having been downloaded 78 million times in the first year of its release.
Why is Fortnite so successful?
The reasons why Fortnite has become such a global hit are clear to see. Not only is the game free to play, but it is also available on most gaming platforms. On top of this, the Battle Royale-style, in which up to 100 players fight it out at one time, mean that the re-playability of the game is infinite – each game is unique. However, while the game itself is free to download, users are encouraged to purchase downloadable content (DLC) to enhance their gaming experience. In 2019, Fortnite user spending on gaming DLC in the United States reached an average of 82 U.S. dollars. The most common in-game purchases in Fortnite included upgrades to characters and outfits, as well as to the gliders which transport the players into the battle arena. This model for generating revenue seems to have been a success for Epic Games as player spending on the Fortnite mobile app consistently reaches million of U.S. dollars each month.
Battle for Battle Royale supremacy
With the rise of games such as Fortnite, the Battle Royale game mode has never been bigger. This online mode pits up to hundreds of players against each other in a game of survival until there is only one player or one team standing. Revenue in the Battle Royale premium console segment amounted to 2.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 and was estimated to more than double to 6.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. While Fortnite is certainly staking its claim as the king of the Battle Royale games, it faces stiff competition from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds which, unlike Fortnite, is available on Steam. The number of PUBG players peaked at almost 3.24 million concurrent users on Steam at the beginning on 2018 and is still regularly peaking at over half a million concurrent players. It seems that game developers are looking to cash in on this ever-growing market, so could other games such as Apex Legends, which reached 70 million registered users within its first nine months, also pose a threat to Fortnite’s supremacy?
Registered users of Fortnite worldwide from August 2017 to May 2020
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VGChartz. (May 7, 2020). Registered users of Fortnite worldwide from August 2017 to May 2020 (in millions) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved September 26, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/746230/fortnite-players/
VGChartz. "Registered users of Fortnite worldwide from August 2017 to May 2020 (in millions) ." Chart. May 7, 2020. Statista. Accessed September 26, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/746230/fortnite-players/
VGChartz. (2020). Registered users of Fortnite worldwide from August 2017 to May 2020 (in millions) . Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: September 26, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/746230/fortnite-players/
VGChartz. "Registered Users of Fortnite Worldwide from August 2017 to May 2020 (in Millions) ." Statista, Statista Inc., 7 May 2020, https://www.statista.com/statistics/746230/fortnite-players/
VGChartz, Registered users of Fortnite worldwide from August 2017 to May 2020 (in millions) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/746230/fortnite-players/ (last visited September 26, 2022)