The battle royale genre of video games has experienced a boom in recent years, with popular titles such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Apex Legends vying with Fortnite to claim top spot. One of the markers of success is how much players spend on the game. Within battle royale games, players have the ability to buy in-game currency which they can then use to purchase upgrades including weapon customizations and visual character enhancements. Player spending on Fortnite upgrades hit a cumulative 752 million U.S. dollars worldwide by September 2019. The most popular upgrade among U.S. gamers was to outfits or characters, while gamers also enjoyed upgrading the look of the gliders, which are the players’ means of entering the battle arena.
Thanks to the success of Fortnite on PC and console, Epic Games released Fortnite Battle Royale for Android and iOS mobile devices in March 2018. Within the first month of its release, the game was downloaded 35 million times worldwide and generated annual revenue of 455 million U.S. dollars on the App Store alone. This success continued into 2019 as the game was the leading iPhone gaming app title in the United States, having generated revenue of over 10 million U.S. dollars in the first month of 2019.
The success of Fortnite, however, has not just hinged on the playing of the game. Many users also enjoy watching others battle it out to be the last player standing. The pinnacle of this is the Fortnite World Cup, which took place in New York City in 2019. The finals of the tournament drew in viewers in their millions, with a total of 14.41 million hours of the finals streamed across the official Fortnite channels on Twitch and YouTube. The fact that Fornite was also the leading eSports game worldwide in 2019 based on cumulative tournament prize pool suggests that Epic Games’ juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.