Epic Games' battle royale sensation Fortnite appears to have hit another revenue milestone. According to a report from Nielsen's Superdata the game has made $2.4 billion in 2018. This is the first time we're seeing revenue data for Fortnite for an entire year. Superdata claims that Fortnite is the highest selling game of 2018 in addition to the highest earning free-to-play title, eclipsing the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Though keep in mind that Epic Games itself does not release any revenue details regarding any of its games, let alone Fortnite.
It is also important to note that Fortnite is available on every platform — Android, iOS, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. This also ensures it has a higher chance of monetisation versus other titles. This is lower than the alleged $3 billion in profit alone reported earlier in the month.
"Free-to-play titles amassed 80 percent of digital games revenue in 2018 but premium games still performed well in Western markets," the report reads. "Asian mobile games helped the region earn 62 percent of global free-to-play revenue, while North America and Europe generated 80 percent of premium games revenue."
Superdata also calls out Red Dead Redemption 2's sales figures. Stating it stands to make even more thanks to Red Dead Online.
"Red Dead Redemption 2 earned $516M in Q4, helping to grow premium games revenue 10 percent year-over-year," claims Superdata. "The title is expected to continue adding to the market in 2019 through further monetisation of its multiplayer mode, Red Dead Online."
That said, the timing of this report is interesting. Previously, analytics firm Sensor Tower claimed that Fortnite on Android and iOS was being trumped by NetEase's Knives Out.
Sensor Tower stated that Knives Out has grossed $465 million worldwide versus Fortnite's $455 million. In addition to this, it has eclipsed PUBG Mobile's earnings too due to being able to monetise in China, something that PUBG Mobile is unable to do just yet due to local regulations. Oddly enough the report doesn't include Android Fortnite earnings which are unknown at the moment, just iOS. A majority of Knives Out's earnings come from Japan, almost 80 percent according to Sensor Tower estimates.
And while Knives Out's success can be attributed to markets like Japan and China, which Sensor Tower claims is its second largest market, the report doesn't exactly paint a complete picture of the battle royale space on mobile.
Reason being, Epic Games' earnings on Android are unknown at this juncture with the aforementioned $455 million figure being iOS revenue alone. Plus, given Fortnite's cross-platform nature, we don't know if players are making in-app purchases on one platform, say PC or console, but spending a majority of their in-game time on another like mobile or vice-versa.
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