Behind the success of the phenomenal game Fortnite

Behind the success of the phenomenal game Fortnite

Fortnite refers to a video game series set in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested world. It was developed by Epic games and uses the company’s signature Unreal Engine. Currently, Fortnite has two titles: a team survival shooter called Fortnite: Save the World and a single player game called Fortnite: Battle Royale.

Millions of players have downloaded the game since its launch, generating hundreds of millions of dollars a month for its creators. According to a examination of CouponBirds, Fortnite’s monthly active player base has remained around 80 million. The incredible number of people online makes incredible profits. Fortnite: Escape brought in $5.4 billion in revenue for Epic in 2018 alone, making it the world’s most profitable game that year.

How did Fortnite achieve so much in such a short time?

Fortnite achieved what was previously considered almost impossible in the gaming industry: it was the first game to break through on a number of console platforms, including XBOX/PS/Switch. Fortnite’s simultaneous PC/console/mobile cross-platform connectivity is a big deal in the closed gaming ecosystem. This is because of Tim Sweeney and Unreal Engine’s years of experience in the industry and their contacts and influence.

On the other hand, Fortnite has made a significant model innovation in F2P premium system with the Battle Pass season ticket subscription model. According to most people’s understanding of the free-to-play payment mechanics in the game, it is a treasure chest or so-called ten-row model. Treasure chests are a great way to monetize a game on a large scale, but the number of paying players affects the balance of the game, and infinite amounts of money usually make the game suck.

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How did Fortnite do it? It takes the concept of a subscription system commonly accepted in Western internet culture and separates rewards by season. More important is the way rewards are earned: each season, users play the game for free to gain experience points that can be used to improve their battle pass levels, which have corresponding rewards for each level.

Image credit: Epic Games

These mechanics combine to create an addictive growing experience that allows Fortnite games to go crazy for retention and daily active players. Fortnite’s Battle Pass the payout rate is 70%, something every game developer dreams of. Fortnite’s original Battle Pass payment design was a huge success, and many of the world’s biggest games have followed suit, almost all of which have had a direct impact on retention and payment.

Not only that, but in Fortnite users can build, socialize and interact. In addition to the gaming experience, Fortnite quickly transformed into a social space, connecting the gaming space with real life.

Fortnite is one of the closest system ecosystems to one metaverse. It stopped being a real game and became more and more social, evolving into a virtual space where customized characters interact. So far, there have been concerts, movie launches, fan meetings and other real events in Fortnite’s virtual environment:

  • Marshmello’s first live Fortnite concert in February 2019 was played by more than 10 million players;
  • In April 2019, Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame offered a new co-branded interactive mode in Fortnite, where players take on the role of Avengers as they battle Thanos;
  • In December 2019, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker held an audience screening at Fortnite, where director JJ Abrams was interviewed;
  • In April 2020, American rapper Travis Scott held an immersive concert called Astronomical in Fortnite, which was watched by 17 million people at the same time, causing a viral spread on social media;
  • In August 2021, Ariana Grande, a popular American singer, performed five consecutive concerts in Fortnite.
Image credit: The Verge

The star power made the game more popular and contributed to its success. The future looks bright for Fortnite. New maps, lots of new content and a blank slate are sure to be crazy new live streams. The number of players is growing and this match is sure to be one of the best games for the foreseeable future.

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