On 27 July 2018, the video game Battle Royale and the global phenomenon “Fortnite” celebrated its first birthday. In this first year, Fortnite and the game developer Epic Games broke records and the expectations of their colleagues, not just from the left field, but came as outsiders in an industry that was already ripe for shooter games.
Between its release in July 2017 and May 2018, Fortnite gathered an audience of 125 million players and generated $1.2 billion in revenue, reports research firm SuperData. When the Fortnite app was launched on the iPhone on April 1, it reportedly earned $2 million a day from players on Apple Inc.’s AAPL, +2.48% iOS. By the end of 2018, the game is expected to generate a total of 2 billion dollars, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Epic Games, allegedly estimated at $15 billion in October, made a $3 billion profit in 2018 according to TechCrunch.
While other games have collected $1 billion in their first year after launch, Fortnite was the first to do so by releasing its game for free. Whether the multiplayer shooting game is sustainable or the game world has been captured for a moment, one thing is clear: after Fortnite’s release, the game industry must respond to the free-to-play model.