Epic Games’ Battle Royale sensation Fortnite has passed the $1 billion mark only two years into its inception. The revenue milestone comes in the form of lifetime player spending, as the title functions on a free-to-play model and earns money from gamers purchasing cosmetic items and season passes from its online store.
Player spending surged within the month of April - and accounted for the largest revenue month in history at over $44 million - amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. held the largest share of the revenue pie, accounting for more than $632 million - or 63 percent of the total expenditures. The data, put out by analytics think-tank SensorTower, does not include data from other third party Android stores in China or other regions, so it is safe to assume that combined with that variable, the revenue from those regions will drive the total number even higher.
Fortnite Global Downloads Surge
The outlook on Fortnite at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March was not particularly good, and still is struggling by the standards of top streamers and pros, yet the casual fan base tells a different story. During April, Fortnite completely, penetrating headlines across multiple industries as the world took note of its social and community-based power. The massive Travis Scott Astronomical Event - which saw over 28 million people watch live - helped drive home over 6 million new downloads of the client as users logged in to take in the concert, which would not be the last in the following weeks.
The iOS version continues to dominate the mobile space, with Apple’s online marketplace accounting for 96 percent of all downloads, or a figure of 125 million installations. The Google Play store has only opened to Fortnite this past April, as a longstanding feud between Epic Games and Google finally ended after a long tumultuous period, with Epic finally caving to the influence of Google - much to their own chagrin.
With the recent launch of Fortnite’s Party Royale mode, and building off the concert series that started last year with Marshmellow’s set, Epic Games has announced that Fortnite will transition to the recently announced Unreal Engine 5 by mid-2021, setting up a situation that could see the title span across current, next-gen, mobile and PC in the future.