$100m. That’s the amount that Epic Games has promised to give away to the Fortnite competitive scene in esports prize money over a 12 month period back in May.
It’s the largest amount that a single developer has ever injected into a competitive scene in a single year. Yet, thanks to the runaway success of its hit battle royale title, Epic has plenty to give away.
Since its release in September 2017, Fortnite has rocketed to the top of the video game charts, attracting millions of users, both young and old, rich and poor. The game has received endorsement from celebrities and persuaded numerous streamers to ditch their favourite titles to take up Fortnite, including top Twitch streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins.
Despite being a free-to-play title, Fortnite has also dominated the grossing charts too over the past 12 months. Earlier this year, Final Kill reported that Fortnite was earning more per user than social media giant Facebook.
With Fortnite fever showing little sign of slowing down, the millions will continue to roll in for Epic Games. But how much has its hit game made so far?
How much has Fortnite made?
While Fortnite has been out in beta form since July 2017, Epic’s epic game didn’t really reach the masses until early 2018. Buoyed by the success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite’s free-to-play model became increasingly more popular as people realised that they could get a similar game without paying out $30.
While gamers don’t have to initially invest in the game, Fortnite’s addictive nature soon saw its players spending heavily on in-game items.
Epic Games has monitised Fortnite using battle passes, which allow players to complete challenges to unlock character skins and items. Likewise, players can also purchase skins directly from a shop using vBucks, a currency paid for using real life money.
These in-game items have proved to be incredibly lucrative for Epic. Many players spend far more than they would have otherwise spent on purchasing a paid-for game.
Fortnite revenue increased rapidly between February 2018 and April 2018, doubling from $126m to $296m.
Revenue growth has since tailed off, as Fortnite reached its peak in May. According to video game research company SuperData, revenue grew by just 2% between June and July. However, the game continues to bring in more than $300m a month for Epic Games.
If SuperData’s estimates are correct, Fortnite has already generated more than $1.7bn for Epic Games in 2018 alone. With revenue unlikely to drastically fall anytime soon, the hit game will inevitably top revenues of $2bn by the end of the year.