Epic Game’s “Fortnight” is swimming in cash thanks to in-app purchases. Specifically, the game earned $126 million from that side of the business in February, exceeding the monthly revenue of rival title “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” and marking a marketing first for the game. Those familiar with Fortnite’s rising star, especially after implementing a 100-player battle royale mode, will find this information as nothing new.
While Epic Games co-opted PUBG’s idea of parachuting onto an island with a large group of players vying to be the last man standing, it has a few tricks up its sleeve. First, Fortnight is completely free-to-play. Second, PUBG earning $103 million in February, the bulk of that figure came from one-time $30 purchases of the title on Steam. Fortnight, conversely, makes the bulk of its earnings through in-app purchases of cosmetic items like alternate costume skins and special emotes.
While PUBG also offers the option of purchasing cosmetic items, it falls behind Fortnite’s offerings. PUBG Corp/Bluehole, developers for PUBG stated that it would be adding emotes in the future, while Fortnite has had emotes since its September launch. Fortnitt also has a benefit when it comes to platform: in addition to PC users, the title is also available to PS4 and X-Box one users, with iOS play currently undergoing closed beta testing. Analysts predict that the iOS port of Fortnite has earned Epic Games $1.5 million in the one week that that version has been remotely playable.
Beyond the monetary reasons or venue, Fortnite also features a learning curve and aesthetic that makes it more endearing to younger players than PUBG’s dark, gritty and realistic aesthetic. The addition of mobile play means that younger gamers, who may lack a proper console or gaming-tier PC, can participate. One final consideration in Fortnite’s favor is the notion of cheating, cheating within PUBG is such a rampant problem that Bluehole has had to prioritize resources toward anti-cheating measures instead of new gameplay features.