Fortnite - The Game Changer

Friday, March 27, 2020

There are games that are huge, they have multi-million pound enterprises and are played by millions of people around the world. But they never break into the mainstream and become known to people outside of the video game industry. Then there are games that are not only giants within their industry, but they move out into popular culture and make a changing impact on the entertainment industry. To say Fortnite has done this, would be an understantement.

This article will go into more depth about Fortnite, what it is, its business model, and how it has become the world’s most popular game.

What is Fortnite?

In short, Fortnite is a free video game that puts up to 100 players onto a small island to battle it out until only one is left. It was released by Epic games back in 2017 and in that time has become the most popular game on the planet.

In what’s called a battle royal, players in a post-apocalyptic zombie overrun world, can use items from all over the island to beat their competitors. They can create traps and find weapons that can help in their quest. Buildings can be built from resources all over the island, which can be designed to defend against attacks from enemies.  With time, the size of the island that the players are allowed in gets reduced, forcing them to get closer to each other and initiate conflict.

How big is Fortnite?

The largest number of active players in a month has been 78.3 million, which was in August 2018. However, you’ll frequently see mentioned that Fortnite has more than 250 million players. This number is taken as a total of every account that has been registered, so there are some that are no longer active.

Within the first 10 months of Fortnite being released in July 2017, there were 125 million registered players and the game had taken $1.2 billion in net revenue. In April 2018, the game was launched on iPhone, where it reportedly made $2 million a day.  This resulted in a revenue of $2.4 billion in 2018.

Why is Fortnite so Popular?

One of the biggest contributing factors is that it’s free. Couple this with a unique, quirky sense of humour and silliness, it’s extremely appealing to younger audiences. The game is not styled to be hyper realistic, infact its visuals are more cartoon like, with a huge range of options to customise the look and style of a character.

Players can team up together as well, which means friends or groups of people can all compete together. This social side of the game is very important, people can chat, joke, and share strategy all over headsets.

Another big factor in the popularity of the game is that it’s not restricted by platform. This means people with different games consoles can all play together, whether PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iPad or Android.

Is Fortnite Actually Free?

To download the game and play it doesn’t cost anything. While playing, there are more items to unlock that don’t require any money as well. However, there is the option to make in game purchases that gives added variety and entertainment for the players. For instance, a Battle Pass gives a player clothing and items. The more they play and the better they become, more items are unlocked.

The pass also provides players with access to weekly challenges that can give them ingame currency to buy more items. Fortnite is structured around playing seasons, and the Battle Pass will give you access until the end of the current season. If a player wants to fastforward their leveling up, they can also pay to have access to the higher tiered content.


It’s not often that a game shoots to complete stardom overnight, which is what Fortnite did. What has been a real surprise was that a free game was able to turn over such huge revenue. In-game purchases had been a huge revenue driver well before Fortnite entered the market, but the success of the franchise has highlighted that this model of game publishing can be hugely lucrative and popular. This means that people will undoubtedly try to replicate Fortnite’s success for years to come.