Fortnite: Battle Royale has only been available on mobile since March, but in less than a month it has become one of the highest grossing video games on the planet.
The game has already surpassed the average daily spend per player of other established titles like Pokémon Go, Candy Crush and Clash of Clans.
Developed by Epic Games, Fortnite Battle Royale is a co-op sandbox survival game in which up to 100 players are dropped on to a fictional island. Described by the developers as a cross between Minecraft and Left 4 Dead, players are then forced to battle against each other Hunger Games-style until there’s only one left.
To better equip themselves for this savage deathmatch, players are able to collect a range of weapons and enhancements hidden all over the island. The free game is supported by microtransactions that allow players to buy “V-Bucks”, an internal currency that can be used to buy cosmetic improvements.
The title was released in September 2017 as a paid-for early access title for Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Mac OS, and the full free-to-play release was launched in late March for IOS.
Although Fortnite’s in-game purchases are purely cosmetic, users have already spent some $15 million on the game – $6 million of that was spent within last week. This is even more insane given the game is yet to be released on Android.
Fornite’s monetisation model is one you couldn’t call exploitative or even aggressive. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
First off, unlike other titles in which players can buy resources, lives or weapons that can give them an advantage over others, none of Fortnite’s in-game purchases alters the outcome of the game. No matter how many V-Bucks you have, your ability is the sole asset that will allow you to survive.
Another interesting point that could explain Fortnite’s success is that the mobile version is not a different game but rather an alternate platform for the PC and console versions. You can share accounts and play across platforms, which is a very interesting experiment in the industry.
At this point, it’s not far-fetched to say Fortnite has a real shot at becoming the biggest mobile game in history.