Fortnite: The Most Successful Free-To-Play Game
Fortnite: Battle Royale has become the most successful free console game of all time, financially speaking according to market research company SuperData Research.
Launched on September of last year by developers Epic Games Inc, Fortnite is a survival free-to-play console game. It focuses on player cooperation and world-building mechanics. The goal of the game is simple: be the last player alive. For this, you must eliminate the adversaries while careful not to venture out of the safe zone. Weapons and armors are found in the game and tremendously help in achieving the aforementioned goal. Building fortifications and barricades using materials found in the environment allows for an engaging gameplay in which teams of players can develop battle strategies.
Fortnite has beaten its rival PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (also known as PUBG) in terms of monthly players and revenue. According to the market research company SuperData that compiled information on the game, it now makes around $2 million each day, and that in microtransactions only.
In March, the game earned $223 million across all platforms, a 73% increase since February alone. It helped that a mobile version was released for iOS as well, taking the App Store by storm and comfortably sitting at number one.
But how is all this possible? Since the game is free-to-play, it is supported by microtransactions. For it to be the most grossing game of its category speaks volumes, showing that players will be willing to dish out real-world money for games they find engaging enough. Players must buy in-game currency called “v-bucks” and among possible purchases are character customization options, skins, emotes, and various items. These contribute to enhance the experience but they are never mandatory to enjoy playing, contrary to some other free-to-play games that really burden the experience if you do not throw them your money. Fortnite’s approach makes players feel respected. And this freedom to pay or not instead of being coerced to do so ironically gets people disposed to pay.
In the end, gamers are not dumb. As consumers, they know when they are exploited. Game companies should never forget that.