Fortnite Battle Royale was developed in two months, now it's making more money than PUBG

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Fortnite has gained a lot of ground in the Battle Royale market since the mode’s release in late September 2017. The free-to-play PvP mode of the game owes much of its popularity to a lot of word of mouth promotion and popular streamers making it their sport of choice over the last several months.

The King of Battle Royale — PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds — has been rolling on piles of cash having moved more than 30 million copies since going into Steam Early Access around this time last year. However, a report out today shows that Fortnite has now surpassed PUBG in both Twitch viewership and earnings for February.

According to analytics from SuperData Research, last month PUBG raked in $103 million in sales, while the free-to-play Fortnite soaked up 126 million gaming dollars. What is interesting is that virtually all of Fortnite’s revenue comes from in-game purchases of cosmetic items. Battlegrounds sells similar virtual merchandise, but the majority of its revenue came from the sale of the game at $30 a pop.

We also learned this week that with the explosive success of Fortnite, a majority of Epic Games' 700 staff are currently dedicated to working on the game. That is saying a lot for the game studio that has other things going on like development on the Unreal Engine, and work on games like Battlebreakers, UT and Spyjinx.

During a GDC panel, Ed Zobrist, Head of Publishing at Epic said that Fortnite's Battle Royale mode was developed in a mere two months. In order to accomplish the feat, Epic brought over developers from the Unreal Tournament team, who did the bulk of the work given their expertise in arena shooters. "And it was the Unreal Tournament team that popped over to pick up the charge for us to basically put originally what we thought would be a PvP version inside our PvE game."

It was also in the later part of those two months that it was decided Battle Royale would be free to play.

Fortnite has an advantage of being available across all platforms including PlayStation 4. PUBG is unavailable on Sony’s console, and no plans have been announced to port it. Both games have also recently released mobile versions for iOS and Android devices that seem to be doing well.

Not having a PS4 version might be a sizable chunk of the market that PUBG is missing out on, but I tend to think that Fortnite has the advantage mainly because it is free-to-play. Players tend to be more willing to make in-game purchases while playing titles they didn’t have to buy originally. They also tend to be willing to spend more than the average purchase price of a regular game.

Something else SuperData points out is comparative viewership on Amazon's Twitch video streaming platform. At the beginning of the year, PUBG's weekly unique viewers sat around 10 million. That is twice the attention that Fortnite was getting. However, right around the beginning of February, PUBG viewers began declining while Fortnite had been on an upward trend since about January 20.

As of February 26, Fortnite is host to 14 million unique Twitch viewers, while PUBG has dropped to about 8.7 million.

While PUBG did make a bit of a rebound from its low point, the fact that Epic’s big boy is ranking more views is big news. Twitch is the most prominent game video streaming service on the internet and is very influential. Even YouTube and Facebook have been trying to wedge their way into Twitch’s action.

PlayerUnknown cannot ignore these numbers. Exposure on Twitch directly correlates to concurrent players. More players mean more opportunity for in-game purchasing.

While it is not likely that PUBG will fold because of a little competition, if developers do not do something to gain back traction with streamers, they may find themselves kissing the boot of their new King of Battle Royale. That will likely to leave a bad taste in their mouths considering they think Epic "stole" their idea from the start.

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texasrattler

TS Evangelist
Fortnite is just a rip off other cartoon games, TF 2 and Overwatch which itself is just a rip off TF2. Fortnite simply added a popular mode, BR and its free. Take away the free part and most wouldnt even care. Its not that good of a game.
Pubg is falling from grace because they dev is inexperienced at fps games, Epic has the Unreal team behind them to help which was smart of them to use. Pubg can only wish they had that kind of talent.
Pubg is addictive n fun but its ruined by a inexperienced dev who cant use the Unreal engine like Epic can. Every patch, the complaints go up, the cheating continues, the constant bugs that even the simpliest of devs should be able to fix. Lack of help from the dev on forums is shameful. Just cause ppl cry over this n that, doesnt mean you leave them. Toxic players is part of the bs in video games, despite ppl n companies trying to do anything, it will be always be there. Also you can create more problems, which they did by leaving Steam forums, that pissed off the players even more. Also at a time when cheating was on the rise, all of that lead to players being even more toxic.

Pubg will die like all the games before it, all because someone will make your game and do it better than you can. They tried but failed to capture and sustain a audience. Sure they made a lot of money but that money doesnt seem to have helped or by the time it does, its all to late.
Pubgs issues cant be resolved because they arent good enough to fix them. This will be their downfall n ultimately lead them to be bought out by MS or someone else that has real experience at making games.
 
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texasrattler

TS Evangelist
Don’t get why this and Pubg are so popular. I gave them both a go for a good couple of hours to see what the hype is about.

Both games are barebone, tedious and way overhyped.
One word, Streamers. Thats what started the hype, where there is hype there is money to be made. Where there is money to be made, there are suckers willing to pay. That makes streamers, the game money n a lot of it.
 

BSim500

TS Evangelist
One word, Streamers. Thats what started the hype, where there is hype there is money to be made. Where there is money to be made, there are suckers willing to pay. That makes streamers, the game money n a lot of it.
^ Yeah that's pretty much it. If a space alien visited Earth tommorrow, they'd conclude the rules of the game are as follows : The winner is the first to generate the most videos with their webcam taking up at least 50% of the video trying too hard to become a "celebrity". The actual gameplay itself doesn't really matter anymore...
 
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erickmendes

TS Evangelist
It's the battle royale mode that is getting people excited about. 99 killing each other, like a sand box MMO with PvP on all the time. That's really about it. PUBG became popular because was the first. It's like Creative Media MP3 players, Apple made the iPod them Creative Media died. The same is going to happen to PUBG and Fortnite, something better will come along and both are going to be history.
 

erickmendes

TS Evangelist
And one word about the "BR was developed in 2 months" ... What's there to develop in BR mode? 1. Make a big map 2. spawn itens 3. start to narrow the map ... Seriously, what a big deal.
Anyone could came up with this idea. PUBG came first, anyone can copy that with no effort.
 

H3llion

TechSpot Paladin
Its great if you don't have too much time on your hands. Jump in, have some fun, great with friends and sense of progression in terms of skins/levels. There is a market for them, it's not just because of "streamers"...

Still DOTA/CSGO > All
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
Fortnite is just a rip off other cartoon games, TF 2 and Overwatch which itself is just a rip off TF2. Fortnite simply added a popular mode, BR and its free. Take away the free part and most wouldnt even care. Its not that good of a game.
Pubg is falling from grace because they dev is inexperienced at fps games, Epic has the Unreal team behind them to help which was smart of them to use. Pubg can only wish they had that kind of talent.
Pubg is addictive n fun but its ruined by a inexperienced dev who cant use the Unreal engine like Epic can. Every patch, the complaints go up, the cheating continues, the constant bugs that even the simpliest of devs should be able to fix. Lack of help from the dev on forums is shameful. Just cause ppl cry over this n that, doesnt mean you leave them. Toxic players is part of the bs in video games, despite ppl n companies trying to do anything, it will be always be there. Also you can create more problems, which they did by leaving Steam forums, that pissed off the players even more. Also at a time when cheating was on the rise, all of that lead to players being even more toxic.

Pubg will die like all the games before it, all because someone will make your game and do it better than you can. They tried but failed to capture and sustain a audience. Sure they made a lot of money but that money doesnt seem to have helped or by the time it does, its all to late.
Pubgs issues cant be resolved because they arent good enough to fix them. This will be their downfall n ultimately lead them to be bought out by MS or someone else that has real experience at making games.
Which cartoon games did Fortnite rip off? It is absolutely nothing like TF2 and Overwatch, where did you get that? You might as well compare Fortnite to racing games.
 
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Prosercunus

TS Maniac
I played both. They weren't exactly what I had in mind. I thought it was a sandbox take your time kinda thing where you eventually run into enemies and kill them while equipping your character with better and better finds. Frankly not impressed by PUBG, I had more fun in DayZ even with it's buggy system (maybe it's better now, it's been awhile).

Out of the two I would just stick with fortnite giving what the two games are. My fault for not researching 100% on how gameplay works.
 
Don’t get why this and Pubg are so popular. I gave them both a go for a good couple of hours to see what the hype is about.

Both games are barebone, tedious and way overhyped.
Same here. Got PUBG free with my One X and still feel ripped off. I played a couple of matches and have to say it's the worst experience I have had in a long time. Massive maps with nothing going on. It's like the scale and scope of an unfinished GTA V but with none of the fun.

I really don't see the appeal of battle royal style games. Perhaps if there was one in a franchise I cared about I'd give it more time.
 

Capaill

TS Evangelist
I've watched a few Youtube videos of each. I prefer watching PUBG (the Let's Play guys are hilarious). The characters in Fortnite's Battle Royale look very like the characters in TF2 - I noticed that immediately, before I even knew the same company was behind both games. I find those games too cartoony and I don't enjoy games that require me to constantly jump to get an edge over other players. Humans are not rabbits.

I'm not sure why a development time of 2 months is impressive. The game Fortnite already existed for years. Adding Battle Royale is basically just creating a new game mode to an existing game. Maybe the act of adding in multiplayer support and game servers was the bigger challenge but the company had huge experience at that already so that was no great obstacle. Perhaps the developers of ARMA should have done the same, as the whole Battle Royale concept is similar to DayZ where the more dangerous enemy was other players and not the zombies.
 

MonsterZero

TS Evangelist
Don’t get why this and Pubg are so popular. I gave them both a go for a good couple of hours to see what the hype is about.

Both games are barebone, tedious and way overhyped.
This exactly! they are both horrible games imo, the equivalent of mobile games made for PC.
 
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I find it vastly amusing that people actually watch OTHER PEOPLE PLAY GAMES.

It's just like all the youngsters these days watching YouTube videos of OTHER PEOPLE OPENING TOYS.
 

Impudicus

TS Addict
Fortnight was out long before adding the battle royal part to the game, to say it was developed withing 2 months is a bit misleading.
 

Impudicus

TS Addict
And one word about the "BR was developed in 2 months" ... What's there to develop in BR mode? 1. Make a big map 2. spawn itens 3. start to narrow the map ... Seriously, what a big deal.
Anyone could came up with this idea. PUBG came first, anyone can copy that with no effort.
There were a few BR's before PUBG.
 

waterytowers

TS Booster
Watching stuff is normal, you can watch for a few reasons, such as to learn or review whether you want to download or buy a game. I compare some youtubers to a form of entertainer but it's only entertaining if you like the subject of the video. I like coc and watch for hints, and because it's good background noise to get some sleep ;)
 

Adhmuz

TechSpot Paladin
I couldn't understand the appeal to PUBG when it was introduced, $30 for an unfinished mess plagued with bugs and griefers, why did anyone ever want to be part of that I asked myself?

Then just over a month ago my friends and I started playing Fortnite, I figured sure its free why not? I haven't played anything else since, granted I wasn't really playing any games consistently before that either, but this game single handily got me back into gaming. It's fun to play solo because every game is different, and when you do die you can just get right back into a new game with minimal wait time and play against new or different people. I personally get incredibly frustrated playing against the same individuals that seem to know they can kill me over and over again until I just leave the game, this game prevents that and I find that far more enjoyable an experience overall. However playing with friends is best thing about the game, you can play it so tactically, coordinate your attacks and work on strategies, learn from other teams and actually get better. Yet still if you all get wiped out you can just re-queue and get right back in a new game carrying your momentum along with you. No other game I've played has been like this and I truly enjoy myself playing it and don't just get bored and want to play something else after 30 minutes like other shooter games.

I can understand some people don't like this style of game, it's not for everyone, but you can't deny it's popularity based on personal 30 minutes of game play, it takes more than that to really experience it and learn how to use the weapons and the building together.
 

texasrattler

TS Evangelist
Its great if you don't have too much time on your hands. Jump in, have some fun, great with friends and sense of progression in terms of skins/levels. There is a market for them, it's not just because of "streamers"...

Still DOTA/CSGO > All
That has nothing to do with the discussion.
Streamers are the cause of the HYPE. If it wasn't for Streamers, we wouldn't be having this conversation. The games would have been passed over because they weren't done by big name studios.
 

texasrattler

TS Evangelist
Which cartoon games did Fortnite rip off? It is absolutely nothing like TF2 and Overwatch, where did you get that? You might as well compare Fortnite to racing games.
If you cant understand the reference then you don't understand the convo. So don't reply.
 

texasrattler

TS Evangelist
I couldn't understand the appeal to PUBG when it was introduced, $30 for an unfinished mess plagued with bugs and griefers, why did anyone ever want to be part of that I asked myself?

Then just over a month ago my friends and I started playing Fortnite, I figured sure its free why not? I haven't played anything else since, granted I wasn't really playing any games consistently before that either, but this game single handily got me back into gaming. It's fun to play solo because every game is different, and when you do die you can just get right back into a new game with minimal wait time and play against new or different people. I personally get incredibly frustrated playing against the same individuals that seem to know they can kill me over and over again until I just leave the game, this game prevents that and I find that far more enjoyable an experience overall. However playing with friends is best thing about the game, you can play it so tactically, coordinate your attacks and work on strategies, learn from other teams and actually get better. Yet still if you all get wiped out you can just re-queue and get right back in a new game carrying your momentum along with you. No other game I've played has been like this and I truly enjoy myself playing it and don't just get bored and want to play something else after 30 minutes like other shooter games.

I can understand some people don't like this style of game, it's not for everyone, but you can't deny it's popularity based on personal 30 minutes of game play, it takes more than that to really experience it and learn how to use the weapons and the building together.
Well it was sold as a unfinished game but because of the hype of Streamers, it got ppl interested. Little did ppl know that streamers where being paid to make the game look good when in actuality it wasn't. Ton of bugs and cheating. Streaming doesn't show the full issues with a game so people can't always see those issues in a stream. Streamers want to make money so some of them never said anything about the issues or simply ignored them.