The Fortnite Phenomenon: How a Free Videogame Generates Millions of Dollars Every Month

The Fortnite Phenomenon: How a Free Videogame Generates Millions of Dollars Every Month

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If you haven’t heard of Fortnite by now do you even own a computer? Everyone and their dog loves this game (I’m serious. Watch this video when you’re done here). America is fascinated with the goofy little death match.


We all know this video game’s a big deal, but how on Earth is this free phenomenon generating millions of dollars? Thank goodness it’s not pay-to-win. In fact, the entire game is free, and that’s only the start of its appeal.


Most free games earn the nickname “freemium” pretty fast. There’s normally a paywall for “free” games, blocking access to the full experience. Not in Fortnite. All revenue is generated through cosmetics. Want to look like a skeleton? That’s 1,500 V-Bucks ($15). A big bunny? 2,000 V-Bucks. Maybe you just really want the Reaper skin (which honestly just looks like Keanu Reeves in a suit). Heck, buy the battle pass and go for it!


So why buy something in game when you can have just as good a time playing free? Easy, so you can brag to your friends. Fortnite has a thriving multiplayer base. You can team up with friends in a duos match or sign up for the 50 v 50 mode. Fortnite isn’t meant to be played alone and the company thrives in that aspect. The “fear of missing out” is very real in Fortnite.


You didn’t earn the Dark Voyager skin yet? Dude, it’s going out of rotation in a week.


You don’t want to look like a noob in a highly competitive match. Your friends don’t want to be associated with a noob in a highly competitive match. The solution is to dish out 20 bucks for that new skin, let’s face it, you kind of wanted it anyway because it looked so good!


Fortnite generates millions because of its sense of community, which is remarkably non-toxic for the most part. It’s just as fun to compare skins with friends as it is to compare your record number of kills. The Royale is a goofy, fun, gore-free environment despite the premise, and that’s what gives it widespread appeal.



(photo courtesy of Epic Games)


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