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Jan 4 2021
As we all know, in 2020, Fortnite appeared in the vision of global players and became a phenomenon game exploded around the world. After bursting onto the scene in 2017, Fortnite has been amassing 350 million players across the globe as of May 2020. If you look at the number of downloads of games in the battle royale genre, it is clear that the mobile version of Fortnite has also been a huge success, having been downloaded 78 million times in its first year of release. Fortnite not only stole the heat from PUGB, but also strongly squeezed the market share of PUBG world-widely, and now it is still gaining momentum and stays high ranked on the global game charts. Fortnite borrows core gameplay from the PUBG, but why can it take a share in the game market under the domination of PUBG and step on the same type of PUGB on the top? We will analyse the reasons why Fortnite can take the world by storm.
Registered users of Fortnite worldwide from August 2017 to May 2020
Fortnite is arguably the hottest game of the moment, attracting 125 million players in a year with its free-to-play model in Europe and the US, successfully overshadowing PUBG. The game, which generated a staggering $296 million in revenue in April, is now available on PS4, Xbox One, PC and iOS. Although it is free-to-play, Fortnite has its own unique marketing model to become the most profitable free-to-play game of the moment. The Epic free-to-play game earned $223 million in March 2020, and then saw a significant increase in April to $296 million, maintaining that momentum and reaching $318 million in May. This puts Fortnite well ahead of other free-to-play games, which have generated more than $1.2 billion in revenue to date, all of which comes from non-required in-game purchases, such as costumes or dances.
Revenue Model Free + In-app purchase
In addition to the simple game mechanics and the fact that the game is free to play, Epic Games' business model has also contributed to the huge success of Fortnite.
After the release of the "battle royale" mode, the success of Fortnite has become a topic worth analyzing, as few people could have predicted in advance that Epic Games' game would reach the popularity and huge revenues it has today. In addition to the simple game mechanics and the fact that the game is free to play, Epic Games' business model has been a huge success.
Analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities recently explained the success of the title, which according to him has attracted millions of players. According to information he obtained directly from Epic Games, the game's profit model is very successful: "The player order can buy a permanent game pass for $10. This strategy is super smart. Epic told me 12 weeks ago that they sold 5 million game passes in one day. That's $50 million earned in one day. It's a great business model. I think a lot of publishers will replicate this strategy and start selling skins at the same time, and no one will complain about paying players upsetting the balance anymore."
In recent years, the mobile game industry has continued to grow and is now a market that can compete with the console and PC game industries. 2021 was a very important year for the mobile game market.
In the first half of 2020, the top three markets in the world for mobile game download were India, the United States and Brazil, and these three markets achieved different degrees of growth in Q2 based on the basis of Q1.
India entered the embargo at the end of March, and the download volume of its mobile games in Q1 was nearly 1.8 billion, and the growth in Q2 was 50% to 2.7 billion. The U.S. market grew at a relatively flat rate, with its mobile game downloads exceeding 1.4 billion in both Q1 and Q2. The Brazilian market recorded nearly 1.1 billion downloads in Q1 and grew 9% YoY to 1.2 billion in Q2. It is worth noting that Brazil's regulatory measures are not as stringent as the first two markets, both in terms of blocking scope and length.
However this year undoubtedly belongs to the battle royale genre, which dominates not only the mobile space, but also the PC and console space. If we talk about the most popular mobile games, we have to start with PUBG. This game absolutely dominated the mobile market in 2020, and it will continue to do so for some time to come. While PUBG gained momentum at the beginning of the year, Fortnite quickly took over the market share and players, the players can't wait to be able to experience both games on their mobile devices. Although these games can be played with great sound effects or even generate noise, these sound effects can make players have a more immersive gaming experience.
Fortnite is a product that has been a major player on gaming platforms in 2020. Its publisher, Epic Games, successfully released the game on all relevant platforms, including PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android. It has even done the one thing that few game companies can do, which is to create true cross-platform online matchmaking capabilities. In other words, players can play a game with their friends at any time, no matter which platform they are on.
Not only that, but Fortnite has also attracted celebrity players to the game, and some will even use in-game moves to celebrate in real life. Fortnite was first released on iOS before launching on Android, with far more players on iOS than on Android.
To maintain the game's impact, Epic Games spends a very high cost each season to promote it online or offline to ensure that each update is topical.
Although it seems risky, Epic's "black hole event" approach is undeniably a master class in modern marketing. From the preview of the seasonal update, to the suspension of the game, leaving enough suspense, releasing the update pack for download in advance, and then the official launch, "Fortnite" took less than two days to bring a new breakthrough to this phenomenal game.
Once the event begins, the only remaining mode in Fortnite is called "The End", which allows players to enter the game in a peaceful state to enjoy the final countdown. Once the countdown was over, Epic pulled all players into the event. Whether you are in the game or in the lobby, as the final rocket lifts off into a space-time rift, a giant black hole suddenly swallows all players and everything on the map into nothingness.
Every major update must come out with an Easter egg, and every time the egg's new gameplay can set off the social network, has largely become the signature practice of Fortnite. Whenever there is a major version update, the officials will always want to attract the attention of players and the outside world through eggs and service-wide events, which to some extent has become a unique brand label of Fortnite. The practice of continuously launching surprising and creative eggs or events, which eventually form a unique and personalized label, is also helping Fortnite to further establish a competitive barrier. The core gameplay of Fortnite is not complicated, but this updated rhythm of constantly launching new activities, forming marketing events, and gaining buzz on social networks is becoming its unique operating model.
Objectively speaking, after more than a year of being a global phenomenon, users and the market have experienced all the content, and Epic Games' money-making machine needs to not only recreate freshness, but also introduce more exciting tactical competitive gameplay.
In most online games, after players have invested hundreds or thousands of hours into your content, the vast majority of gameplay is no longer new, and Fortnite is no exception. However, considering that Epic has previously maintained a good habit of weekly updates, I believe that players' curiosity will be further satisfied.
From an industry perspective, the end of the game world with meteorite destruction may not be new, but it is not rare to be able to hold the scale throughout the process.
Fortnite doesn't seem to be satisfied with the achievement of being "the tactical game with the highest number of users". It has been trying various ways to get out of the ring. From the several linkages and built-in activities in recent years, Epic Games' expectation of "Fortnite" is not just a pop-up game, but a trendy culture beyond the game. It's not about how many users it reaches, but about creating a "trendy culture language" by absorbing different brands and expressing the same content creatively in different fields. And keep it updated to become a self-expression that can adapt to the new generation of users for a long time. In today's competitive and ever-changing game market, Fortnite must be ready to meet new challenges if it wants to continue to grow in the future.
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