Fortnite made $2.4 billion in 2018 as free-to-play and mobile games dominated the market

midian182

Posts: 5,889   +48
Staff member

SuperData’s annual year in review notes that Fortnite’s influence helped push digital games revenue up 11 percent across mobile, PC, and console last year, reaching a total of $109.8 billion. The mobile platform led the way, bringing in $61.3 billion, followed by the PC’s contribution of $35.7 billion and console’s $12.7 billion.

Free-to-play console games also got a massive boost in 2018, with revenue jumping 458 percent to $88 billion. That figure represents 80 percent of all digital games revenue.

Sitting behind Fortnite on the highest earning FtP list is Dungeon Fighter Online ($1.5 billion), League of Legends ($1.4 billion), and Pokemon Go ($1.3 billion).

While it can’t match free-to-play, digital premium games’ revenue was also up last year, rising 10 percent to $17.8 billion. Despite living in the shadow of Fortnite, which Netflix just called a big competitor, PUBG was the top earner here, making 19 percent more than it did during 2017.

PUBG beat the likes of GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2 by generating $1.028 billion—a number that doesn’t include money from the mobile version, which would have pushed its total earnings even higher. Check out the full top ten list below.

1. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Bluehole - $1.028 billion

2. FIFA 18, Electronic Arts - $790 million

3. Grand Theft Auto V, Take-Two Interactive - $628 million

4. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII, Activision Blizzard - $612 million

5. Red Dead Redemption 2, Take-Two Interactive - $516 million

6. Call of Duty: WWII, Activision Blizzard - $506 million

7. FIFA 19, Electronic Arts - $482 million

8. Monster Hunter: World, Capcom - $467 million

9. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, Ubisoft - $440 million

10. Overwatch, Activision Blizzard - $429 million

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Panda218

Posts: 672   +387
I am always shocked by how much these games make. When I look at them I laugh and say "Pfft you call this a game", but apparently there are a lot of people that play them.
 

sac39507

Posts: 312   +135
How are free to play games even making money? Micro transactions I assume? Someone will say advertising
 

cuerdc

Posts: 210   +62
Fortnite does have it's paid beta counterpart save the world which im sure counts for alot but skins and dances are loved by kids and adults alike (I'm sure you've all done 'the floss' or at least attempted) paid for with vbucks.
 

MilwaukeeMike

Posts: 3,211   +1,455
@ Rob,

#1 When you use an acronym like PUBG - please say what it is the first time you mention it.

#2 Revenue doesn't mean profits. It's still impressive that these games pull in so much cash, but without knowing what they cost to make and support it's sort of meaningless. Epic is a private company, so we can't easily look up their profits, but I'd still like to know how much of that $2 bln is cost.

Also noteworthy - looks like Activision Blizzard has 4 in the top 10 between the two lists.
 
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m4a4

Posts: 1,878   +1,633
TechSpot Elite
How are free to play games even making money? Micro transactions I assume? Someone will say advertising
Fortnite BR specifically only has microtransactions that allow you to only get/buy cosmetics. Meaning that you can still get the full gameplay experience (minus some vanity) without sinking a penny in it.

And considering it's not lootboxes with random chances, it's my favorite monetization model for a free game. I support the dev with a purchase, and I can get vanity items I want.
 

mshrf

Posts: 11   +5
@ Rob,

#1 When you use an acronym like PUBG - please say what it is the first time you mention it.

#2 Revenue doesn't mean profits. It's still impressive that these games pull in so much cash, but without knowing what they cost to make and support it's sort of meaningless. Epic is a private company, so we can't easily look up their profits, but I'd still like to know how much of that $2 bln is cost.

Also noteworthy - looks like Activision Blizzard has 4 in the top 10 between the two lists.
Revenue is a much more important factor than profit because it's more objective than profit. You want to know how much of that $2 bln is cost? That doesn't say a lot about how well a company is doing. In fact, companies tend to lower their profits as much as possible for tax purposes. It's safe to assume Epic makes a HUGE profit if you'd only count the cost of making the product (development, servers et cetera), but I am sure they are trying to minimize it as much as possible. Source: tax lawyer in The Netherlands.
 

MilwaukeeMike

Posts: 3,211   +1,455
Revenue is a much more important factor than profit because it's more objective than profit. You want to know how much of that $2 bln is cost? That doesn't say a lot about how well a company is doing. In fact, companies tend to lower their profits as much as possible for tax purposes. It's safe to assume Epic makes a HUGE profit if you'd only count the cost of making the product (development, servers et cetera), but I am sure they are trying to minimize it as much as possible. Source: tax lawyer in The Netherlands.
You're right profit is the best thing to look at, but revenue isn't better. The common metric used is EBIT (or EBITDA), it's earnings before interest and taxes (and depreciation and amortization). Yes, companies play games with their taxes, which is why investors look at earnings (which is basically revenue - cost) before taxes or interest paid on outstanding debts.

This also gives you the profit margin - which is how much money do you make for every dollar spent.

You're right though, bottom line profit isn't very useful.
 

sac39507

Posts: 312   +135
Fortnite BR specifically only has microtransactions that allow you to only get/buy cosmetics. Meaning that you can still get the full gameplay experience (minus some vanity) without sinking a penny in it.

And considering it's not lootboxes with random chances, it's my favorite monetization model for a free game. I support the dev with a purchase, and I can get vanity items I want.
Good economics lesson for the kids. If you have no money, you won't be as cool