Fortnite fever: Cashing in on game’s continuing popularity

Global Business

Fotrnite fever: Cashing in on game's continuing popularity

Fortnite has been a modern success story.

In the crowded world of online games, where developers clamour over eyeballs in a fickle market, Fortnite has exceeded expectations.

A year after launch, it’s available on everything from iPhones to Xboxes to Windows PCs and profits are through the roof. The game’s success doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

What’s the secret? CGTN’s Phil Lavelle reports.

Mollie Patterson thinks she knows. “Epic Games has really cared about their game. And I know that’s kind of hard to say because most developers care about their games. But the thing that Epic Games has really done with Fortnite which has been impressive is that they’ve shown a real initiative to keep the game fresh,” Petterson said.

Petterson is a journalist at Electronics Gaming Monthly. And she’s a huge Fortnite fan. “They’ve done a really, really great job of keeping it fresh, keeping it new, adding things, taking things out”, she tells CGTN.

Most games tend to have a limited shelf life. Think Angry Birds, Candy Crush Saga, Words with Friends, Pokemon Go: they spike, but then they dip as popularity wanes. Many are still available, but with a fraction of the users they once enjoyed. But Fortnite is still seeing profits soar. According to research firm, Superdata, it made a billion dollars in less than its first year. $296 million of that came in April alone. And when it launched in March on Apple devices, market analyst Sensor Tower said it raked in $300 million in just 200 days. Back in September, when the game’s latest season launched, $20 million followed from Apple users in the space of one week.

For app developers, it’s not just one and done

Ray Carsillo is a producer at Machinima in Los Angeles, the preeminent provider of digital content to gamers worldwide. He doesn’t see Fortnite’s popularity slowing down any time soon.

“As long as they keep the game’s servers up and running, I don’t see how this is going to stop”, he said.

But there is still one area where Fortnite still lags: China. It’s one of the world’s largest video game markets but months after an official launch, the game is still nowhere to be seen. This, despite the fact that the game’s developer, Epic Games is owned by China’s Tencent.

“I think part of it has to do with that there’s a lot of legal hurdles they have to get through to get into China”, explains Carsillo. “I think they want to get there. China is one of the biggest gaming markets in the world… They want to get there and China wants them there. But it has to be on their terms.”