Fortnite: Battle Royale was released over four years ago now and they’re still making billions of dollars in revenue every year – but how?
Players either ready up alone or work together in Fortnite to survive in an open-world setting by defeating other characters controlled by artificial intelligence or by other players from their geographical region.
Players descend onto a map, either alone or with a team, alongside 99 other players in this massively popular Battle Royale game produced by Epic Games. It’s a frenetic scramble to find the greatest weapons and items as quickly as possible after landing, all while staying within the encircling safe zone and out of the storm. The game is won by the last player, or team, standing.
Although Fortnite does have Save The World as its campaign mode, which players do have to purchase, it’s the free Battle Royale mode that all the popularity.
So, how does a free game make billions of dollars in revenue every year, you might ask? Well, although there are a number of ways including merchandise, sponsors and collaborations, there is one method that stands out from the rest…
How Does Fortnite Make Money?
Fortnite’s biggest source of revenue is through the sale of its in-game currency, V-Bucks, which can then be used to purchase cosmetics, dances, emotes and more.
Even though these skins and dances offer no competitive advantage, players were drawn to them very early on in the game’s existence, especially when popular streamers started sporting them.
Gamers aged 18-24 often have the freedom to spend their own money on whatever they like, and younger children have parents that want to keep them quiet.
V-Bucks can even be bought from popular brick and mortar stores like GameStop in the form of gift cards, making them an excellent gift to children and gamers alike. Otherwise, these V-Bucks are bought in the in-game store through whichever platform you’re playing on.
How Much Money Does Fortnite Make?
It’s hard to tell exactly how much money Fortnite makes each year, especially when there are so many sources of revenue.
What we do know is that the popular game, launched in late 2017, made around $9 billion in its first two full years across 2018 and 2019. This information was released via court documents in the Epic Games V Apple court case. $3.7 billion in 2019 down from $5.4 billion in 2018.
It’s believed that the game then generated another $5.1 billion in 2020 – just $300 million short of the 2018 figure. Certainly using the word “just” a little loosely, here.
Bear in mind that Fortnite is available on a number of platforms, including PC and Mac, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and Android Devices. On mobile alone, revenue has been increasing year on year, from “just” $100 million in 2018, to $450 million in 2019, then all the way up to $1.1 billion in 2020.
What Exactly Are V-Bucks?
In Fortnite, V-Bucks are the virtual premium currency. With the introduction of microtransactions and downloadable content material in games, they have become the game’s principal source of revenue.
They get you access to premium content like cosmetics, dances (some that even include popular songs) and the seasonal Battle Pass in the game. V-Bucks are not necessary to play the game, but they are recommended if you want to get the most out of it.
V-Bucks can be purchased in one of two ways. Either directly in Fortnite via the platform shop (Epic Store, PlayStation Store or Microsoft Store, for example). Or, you may also buy digital codes at stores to avoid having to enter your payment information on a digital site.
V-Bucks are available in a variety of denominations, both digitally and physically. Depending on how many you need, you can spend as little as $7 or as much as $70. As you’d imagine, like with most things, the more you buy in one go the better value you get for your money. Here’s how much each pack will cost you:
- 1,000 V-Bucks – $7.99
- 2,800 V-Bucks – $19.99 (12% extra)
- 5,000 V-Bucks – $31.99 (25% extra)
- 13,500 V-Bucks – $79.99 (35% extra)
What Is A Skin On Fortnite?
A skin, which can be purchased from the in-game Item Shop on Fortnite, is a cosmetic that can be applied to your character when you’re playing the game. These skins will cost a certain amount that depends on their “rarity” although the rarity of skins is usually decided by how unpopular the skin was in the long run.
When skins that are deemed the “rarest” are then re-released, everybody rushes to buy them, making them more common than some of the skins that are in fact the cheapest and released more often.
Skin prices can range from 800 V-Bucks to 2,000 V-Bucks, depending on which rarity level Epic assigns to them when they’re released. Skins that cost just 800 V-Bucks are usually just basic character models in a different outfit, while skins that cost 2,000 V-Bucks can include the likes of Marvel characters and the Icon series, which immortalizes the game’s biggest streamers like Ninja.
What Is The Rarest Fortnite Skin?
The rarest skins on Fortnite are the ones that haven’t been re-released since they were first introduced, as well as those that featured in the first few Battle Passes or came free with a real-life purchase promotion, such as a Samsung phone or an Nvidia graphics card.
Although the popular Renegade Raider skin is often considered the rarest of the lot, it is in fact the Aerial Assault Trooper that features in the fewest number of players’ Lockers.
In order, the next rarest skins are the Renegade Raider, Galaxy, Hacivat, Black Knight, Double Helix, Honor Guard, Black Widow, Royale Bomber and The Reaper.
Jake is a professional copywriter, journalist, and life-long fan of technology. He covers news and user guides for KnowYourMobile.