'Fortnite' made $1.8 billion in 2019, analysts say - that's down 28% from 2018, but it's still the biggest game in the world
- "Fortnite" continues to be the biggest game in the world, with tens of millions of monthly players across seven different platforms.
- Even though the game is free, it managed to pull in nearly $2 billion in 2019, according to Nielsen's SuperData tracking arm.
- "Fortnite" offers a seasonal Battle Pass, which costs $10 and is wildly popular, in addition to selling in-game items to dress up your characters with.
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"Fortnite" continues to dominate the attention of tens of millions of players around the world.
More specifically: "Fortnite" made $1.8 billion in 2019, according to Nielsen's SuperData tracking arm.
That's the second overall revenue number for "Fortnite" that we've seen for a full calendar year of availability - the game made just shy of $2.5 billion in 2018, according to SuperData. That's a drop of about 28% in 2019 versus the year prior. But make no mistake: Even with that drop-off, "Fortnite" is still the biggest game out there, the SuperData report suggests.
The game's maker, Epic Games, hasn't released revenue numbers for "Fortnite," and a representative declined to comment on the data.
Despite the fact that it's a free game, "Fortnite" brings in billions of dollars through sales of virtual items, sales of virtual money, and the ever-important seasonal Battle Pass.
"Fortnite" / Epic Games
Characters from the latest "Star Wars" trilogy appeared in the game as a cross-promotion.
"Fortnite" first arrived in the summer of 2017, with the now ubiquitous "Battle Royale" mode arriving as a free update in September 2017.
The rest of 2017 and early 2018 was focused on putting "Fortnite" on more platforms.
By late summer 2018, the game was available on seven different gaming platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android. And in 2019, the game amped up its promotional tie-ins - everything from "Star Wars" to "Marvel's Avengers" ended up in the game.
"Fortnite" players on any platform can play with any other platform.
"Fortnite" is the first truly cross-platform game; it even forced Sony to abandon its exclusionary stance on cross-platform gaming.
It's no surprise, then, that "Fortnite" is estimated to have grossed over $1.8 billion in 2019 across those many platforms.
With tens of millions of players around the world buying Battle Passes, and in-game items, and converting their real money into "V-Bucks," the game was able to amass billions in revenue without charging any upfront cost to consumers - a game-changer in an era of $60 blockbuster games.
That makes it the highest-earning free-to-play game of 2019, as well as the highest-earning game of the year, according to SuperData. It also puts "Fortnite" earnings above the latest entries in the annual "FIFA" and "Call of Duty" franchises, as wel as every other big game you can think of that arrived this year.
And there's no sign of it slowing down any time soon.
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