Court documents show just how big Epic Games’ popular game Fortnite is as a brand, revealing it brought in a whopping $9 billion from 2018 through 2019.
Fortnite is one of the biggest games to hit pop culture in the past decade, with a good argument to be made that it’s the biggest game of all time. The game not only became a fan favorite but introduced a free download marketing approach that left everyone with access to download the game with no reason to not try and score a Victory Royale.
The game ended up exploding when professional gamer Ninja had a late-night streaming session and was joined in a game by Drake, JuJu, and Travis Scott. That night, the streaming record was broken and people who don’t play video games tuned in just to see what was going on.
Since then, the game has dominated households worldwide, created its own tournament for millions of dollars, Nerf guns from the game are selling out rapidly, and Fortnite even has in-game concerts. How the game makes money is via in-game purchases such as skins and costumes, since the actual game itself is free. Some of the skins can be rare and never released again, showing others how long players have been on the Fortnite wave.
Now, Complex is reporting new court documents reveal just how much money was generated from those in-game purchases–and the numbers are impressive.
Fortnite was/is very popular. You already knew that.
But now there’s a dollar figure, a massive 10-digit one, to both back that statement up and simultaneously drive it home. According to a document that was made public because of the ongoing legal battle between Epic Games and Apple regarding the latter company’s App Store practices (leading to a trial that began Monday in California) we have learned that Fortnite generated $5 billion in 2018, the first full year it was out following its release (for reference it came out in summer 2017). In 2019 it followed that up by making $4 billion more. Those are just round numbers. In total it made more than $9 billion in that two-year run.
If you wondered why Epic Games has made such a big deal of Apple’s app store policies and the percentage they take, these financials paint a picture of how much Apple could potentially take from any company without doing any of the work. While Apple has its right to say for access you have to follow their rules, as a company, you want your product on all those millions of iPhones in the world–but at a fair cost. Hopefully, the two sides can put the egos aside and work it out, because clearly, there is money to be made.