August 1, 2018
According to Apptopia, Epic Games’ free game “Fortnite” can now count 100 million downloads on the Apple iOS platform in 138 days, or less than five months, earning $160 million in iOS in-app purchases. Counting versions for the PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, “Fortnite” has posted $1 billion in revenue since its “Battle Royale” version was introduced in September 2017. That compares with “Super Mario Run” (100 million downloads in 68 days) and “Pokémon Go” (100 million iOS downloads in 71 days).
VentureBeat reports that, “’Fortnite’ users are playing about 21.6 minutes per session, longer than ‘Pokémon Go’ at 14.8 minutes,” equaling 2.7 billion hours playing “Fortnite” in May and June. Its profits are also impressive, given that, “when it hit 100 million downloads, ‘Pokémon Go’ revenues were at $111 million.”
Since mid-March, “Fortnite” has also reaped $160 million in in-app purchases. At this rate, “the game is currently on pace to hit half a billion dollars in in-app purchase revenue around April 2019.”
Elsewhere, VB reports that “Fortnite” is more likely to be downloaded via a web browser than the Google Play Store, a finding of the Android development community XDA Developers’ research. The Google Play Store and the Apple App Store get 30 percent of the revenue; analyst Sensor Tower stated that average daily revenue for “Fortnite” is about $2 million per day “and about $600,000 of that goes to Apple.” If users bypass the Google Play Store, however, Epic keeps all the profits.
The Verge reports that Epic Games has also ventured into eSports competitions for “Fortnite,” investing $100 million to “launch a competitive world cup.” At E3, the Fortnite Pro-Am was a success, “followed by the launch of Summer Skirmish, a series of eight weekly tournaments featuring $8 million in prizes.”
But Epic’s eSports initiative got off “to a very bad start,” with the first tournament “cancelled halfway through after players suffered from such significant lag that it was impossible to continue,” and the next competition dogged by “accusations of cheating on Reddit and elsewhere.”
The tournaments have also “conflicted with the already popular Friday Fortnite series, run by YouTuber Daniel ‘Keemstar’ Keem.” The broadcasts have “most surprisingly … felt shockingly amateur,” with a “lackluster” presentation, no spectator view “or any tools used to give people watching a good understanding of the overall game.”
The viewer can only watch from the perspective of a single player. This compares unfavorably with Blizzard’s Overwatch League and Epic’s chief rival Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, both of which have been much more professionally run eSports competitions. Epic is “clearly testing ideas … [but] there’s clearly a lot of work to do.”
Ready, Aim, Hire a ‘Fortnite’ Coach: Parents Enlist Videogame Tutors for Their Children, The Wall Street Journal, 7/31/18
Google Will Lose $50 Million or More in 2018 from Fortnite Bypassing the Play Store, TechCrunch, 8-10-18