Epic Games’ Fortnite generated $296 million in the month of April across mobile, console, and PC platforms, according to digital game sales tracker SuperData Research. That amount is more than double what the game generated in the month of February, when it earned $126 million and surpassed Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds in monthly sales for the first time.
The big difference between the games, and what really makes Fortnite shine, is Epic’s free-to-play model, which gets the title into as many players’ hands as possible and recoups the money, and then some, by way of in-game purchases. Epic sells players cosmetic items that do not affect gameplay, including goofy and topical character costumes and in-game dance moves purely for vanity purposes. It also sells a season subscription called the Battle Pass for around $10. Still, the company sells these items at such an alarming quantity that Fortnite made more money in April than Avengers: Infinity War did on its opening weekend later that same month.
There’s a few reasons why Fortnite sales continue to climb. The game launched on mobile with an iOS beta in mid-March, and in the first week of April, it became available to everyone on Apple’s platform. That expansion of the iOS version of the game likely helped drive a significant amount of money, as mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower now reports the game is making more than $1 million on a day on mobile alone. In addition to that, Epic’s third season of the game was coming to a close in April, ahead of the much anticipated season 4 launch on May 1st. So many players may have spent money at the tail of the season to unlock exclusive rewards, like the coveted John Wick skin, that would be going away when the season closed at the end of the month.
There’s reason to believe the game will only continue to get bigger. Epic is planning an Android release sometime this summer. The developer also announced earlier this week that it plans to put $100 million toward prize pools for Fortnite competitions in the first year of play, which is slated to begin later this year and stretch into 2019. If all goes according to the company’s plan, that should mean Fortnite stays at the forefront of e-sports and Twitch and YouTube streaming as it starts attracting high-profile competitive players and bigger venues for tournaments. At the E3 expo next month in Los Angeles, Epic is hosting its first big official celebrity event, titled the Fortnite Celebrity Pro Am, featuring 50 streamers and 50 celebrities all competing in teams of two.