Fortnite Made US$1.8 Billion In 2019 Despite Being “Free To Play”

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

The free to play business model is quite fascinating and Fortnite is one of the main reasons why so many of these games are popping up nowadays.

The game that held onto (and probably still does) world’s most popular game in the world for a significant amount of time despite being costing zero dollars to download and play made a mind-boggling US$1.8 billion last year.

That’s more money in a single year than any game in history. So how does a free game end up making that much? Free 2 Play games such as Forntite are games that give players access to a significant portion of their content without paying. This doesn’t mean everything in the game will be free.

Fortnite adopts the freemium model which means a number of in-game items are sold as microtransactions e.g skins, animations, weapons etc and because Fortnite was extremely popular the game had a lot of consumers who would purchase these in-game items alongside the $10 battle passes which would guarantee some exclusive items for paying customers.

Fortnite also had some pretty exclusive tie-ins with major franchises such as Avengers and Star Wars which no doubt would have led to increased revenue in a number of ways:

  1. The company being featured most probably had to pay a significant amount to be featured in the most popular game in the world;
  2. These exclusive events also bring back players to the game increasing player count and purchase of the aforementioned in-game items
  3. Events also come with exclusive in-game items that are available for limited amounts of time making it likely that a number of players will spend money on them before they are removed from the game

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