Brian Feldman for New York Magazine, in a piece titled, “The Most Important Video Game on the Planet”:
Analysts estimate that Fortnite is currently raking in more than $300 million a month, and has made its maker, Epic Games, more than $1.2 billion since its battle royale mode launched in late September. That’s all from a game that’s free to download and play unrestricted.
To clarify: anything you can buy in Fortnite is purely cosmetic and doesn’t give you a better chance at winning. You buy outfits or dance moves to taunt your friends with. We know microtransactions are a profitable business plan, but even Epic’s success here is somewhat staggering.
The article goes into a few reasons why Fortnite — not the first game to have a battle royale mode — is currently experiencing a moment. A combination of wide availability (it’s on almost every game console and smartphone you can think of), cartoon-style graphics, and kid-friendly goofy “violence” (there’s no blood when you eliminate an opponent) leaves you with a game that’s literally everywhere and enjoyed by seemingly everyone.
One final bit from Mr. Feldman’s piece that caught my eye was this aside about one of Fortnite’s most famous players, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins:
Ninja, whose real name is Tyler Blevins, makes an estimated half a million dollars every month streaming Fortnite rounds on Twitch, a service for livestreaming video games that is owned by Amazon.
I don’t know which scenario is more astonishing: Epic making $300 million a month from a free-to-play game, or Ninja collecting $500,000 in the same amount of time for playing said game.