Epic Games, the publisher behind hit battle royale game Fortnite, has vowed to spend $100 million over the next year on developing Fortnite esports.
The publisher had previously stated that it intended to support the game’s emerging competitive scene. However, nobody could have anticipated such a big investment from Epic.
The company confirmed their investment via a statement released on their website, which reads:
“Grab your gear, drop in and start training. Since the launch of Fortnite Battle Royale we’ve watched the passion for community competition grow and can’t wait to empower you to battle with the best.
In the 2018 – 2019 season, Epic Games will provide $100,000,000 to fund prize pools for Fortnite competitions.”
This will come as little surprise to those that have enjoyed Epic’s past games. The company has heavily invested in the competitive scenes of previous titles like Unreal Tournament and Gears of War.
What this means for Fortnite esports
However, this is still a huge amount of money. To put the announcement into perspective, League of Legends, one of the most popular esports games, has only awarded $53 million in prize money since its competitive scene emerged.
This will be the largest amount that a single developer has injected into a competitive scene in a single year.
$100 million is a lot of money to invest. However, Epic has plenty going spare. According to video game data company SuperData, Fortnite was the sixth highest grossing PC game and eighth highest grossing console game of 2017, despite being a free-to-play title.
The news will be music to the ears of teams like FaZe Clan and Team SoloMid. While Fortnite esports has yet to truly emerge, these well-known organisations have been training Fortnite teams in anticipating of an announcement like this.
“We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way,” Epic’s statement reads.
The news could be damaging to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds competitive scene, which has found some success in recent months. The two battle royale games have been locking horns since 2017, but if Fortnite esports offers the bigger prizes, the genre’s best players will undoubtedly turn to Epic’s title.