Fortnite is a multiplayer survival game that is free to play, but has generated $1bn+ revenue since its launch in July 2017 through paid in-game content.
It has 125m players across all platforms, 40m of which play it every month. The success of Fortnite can be attributed to its highly engaged user base, freemium gaming model and cross platform capabilities (eg PC gamers can play with PlayStation players). We expect that developers/publishers will be incorporating some of Fortnite’s successful traits going forwards (eg multiplayer survival modes) and will place an increased focus on keeping their user base engaged, leading to a longer sales profile for successful franchises. We highlight Frontier Developments and Codemasters as current UK listed companies that have strong established franchises and rich engaging content.
Why has it been successful?
1. Cross platform
Fortnite has a high degree of cross platform compatibility (PC players can play with PlayStation players, etc) unlocking a wider user base vs a singular platform universe. With zero up front cost for the game, it is as simple as having a PC/Console/Mobile to play with other users, eliminating the barrier of having to purchase the same platform to access a social gaming circle.
2. No cost, no disadvantage model
Fortnite is free to play, and players that do spend in game money have no added advantage, as all paid downloadable content is purely vanity (eg new costumes and victory dances). This means that new players are not frustrated by incumbents that have amassed a competitive advantage through a deeper wallet, keeping the game fair for all.
3. Player engagement
Live games can be streamed, or recorded and stored, ensuring that the best moments for a player are not missed, enhancing its social channel, video sharing and thus publicity. Fans are expected to have watched over 600m hours of Fortnite gameplay across streaming platforms according to Superdata Research.
4. Social media following
Celebrities including Drake, Dele Alli and Joe Jonas have personally posted/played Fortnite on social media and have even endorsed professional Twitch players. Walking down Covent Garden, in-game items can also be found in real-life replica size.
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