Ah, microtransactions. A word that sends millions into fits of rage, and rightfully so, or at least cold anger, if not that. Very few games get microtransactions right. In fact, almost none do. The consensus, however, seems to be that as long as microtransactions are only limited to cosmetic items and don’t have any impact on the gameplay itself, they’re at least easy to ignore, even if you still don’t find them acceptable (and really, in full-priced AAA games, why should you?).
The cosmetic-only approach is what Fortnite goes for as well, and it seems to work pretty well. There are no pay-to-win mechanics at all, which is just great, and there’s also the fact that the game itself is free to play, which is even better.
Fortnite’s microtransactions, in fact, are making Epic, ridiculous amounts of money, netting them $2 million revenues every day on just iOS devices, and seeing their net worth rise up to roughly $8 billion. And Epic’s CEO, Tim Sweeney, feels that microtransactions from customers that aren’t miffed by such monetization are the best form of a funding a company can really ask for.
“As far as the success of Fortnite, that’s the best type of funding a company can get: microtransactions from happy customers,” Sweeney said while speaking with GamesBeat. “We’re heavily reinvesting, based on Fortnite’s profits, in the underlying game. We’re building our team, adding features, starting a lot of long-term initiatives that will bear fruit in the coming years. We’ve been investing into Fortnite esports. We have competitions, events, and opportunities to win real money. We’ve announced $100 million in prize pool money coming in the next 12 months. This is a great boon for Epic. We have an unlimited ability to invest in our technology, our games, and all the ecosystem around it.”
And it really does seem like Epic are putting the money they’re earning from Fortnite to good use. Other than the excellent and constant support Fortnite has been receiving, Epic have also been able to do other great things, such as increasing the Unreal Engine marketplace creator share to 88%.