February 14th 2019

Fortnite dancing to its own beat... making sure we don't forget Valentine's Day

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14 Feb

Videogame setting new records

It has been rather busy for Fortnite this last couple of weeks. We became aware that Fortnite Creator  - Tim Sweeney is buying acres of forest to prevent it from being cut down. A recently launched free to play battle royale game  - Apex Legends; gained 10Million players in 72h. Fortnite is releasing a special Valentine's Day update - 'Share The Love'. In this article, we take a brief look into some of the reasons behind Fortnite's success.

With the numbers ​​that Fortnite presents, it is hard to believe that the game is only one year old. The title is one of the most popular of today's video games and draws attention not only for the ability to keep players active for hours but also for its social power. In the following article, we will explain what we see as some of the reasons for such success.

For those unfamiliar with the game, it revolves around a map that over time is continuously reduced (20/25 minutes on average each game), where there are 100 players who battle against each other with a huge amount of weapons and/or traps. The last player standing receives the coveted Victory Royale.

At first, it seems to be a basic game, so how does a simple game make so much success?

There are several things that have contributed to their current success. One of the key points to this success is the accessibility of the game.

Fortnite presents itself in a multiplatform format. This means that there are no barriers for friends to play with each other if they do not have the same platform. Epic Games has released the game for PC, Xbox, Playstations and mobile devices. This means that anyone who has a PS4 can play at home with someone who is playing through a mobile phone outside the home. So, friends are always in touch whether they are in or out of the house.

Another key factor for this success is the price of the game.

The biggest barrier for a person to play a game is usually the price. As for Fortnite, there is no such problem. The game is totally free, just download and start playing with friends or other players for free. But if it's free, how does the game generate millions? Continue with us on this trip as we will explain everything further.

Another factor that allows Fortnite to stand out is its constant updating.

Epic Games refuses to accept Fortnite as a finished product. There isn't a week without a small update or patch advertised on the site itself. The same is in constant update and as a way to receive feedback from its customers, Epic Games prioritized the construction of communities and established a forum for players, a strategy that the company continued to follow. According to Spalinski, Leading Level Designer at Epic Games, this one states that "We have an analytical system, we watch streamers, we are active participants in forums and we collect feedback via Reddit", in an interview with Kotaku.

Another competitive advantage over Epic Games is its modern tone, current and always attentive to trends. Popular memes, 'dab' or Salt Bae were trends that did not escape the game, being possible to replicate them in the game.

To summarize, the main benefits are:

  • Acessability - Users across different platforms can play each other;
  • Price - the game can be downloaded for free!;
  • Dynamic - The game is constantly being updated;
  • Tone - The is perfectly aligned with Pop culture and current events
  • Fortnite is currently the most popular game on the Youtube platform and at Twitch.

    According to Sullygnome, a statistic tool, Fortnite is currently dominating the competition on Twitch, a popular live streaming platform between gamers and streamers, where it has been the most transmitted game ever to topple even League of Legends (its direct competitor). It was only in June 2018 at Twitch, according to market research firm Newzoo, that there were 125 million hours of watched matches, which left well behind its competitor with almost 88 million hours of professional and amateur matches together. But then how does an unknown game in such a short time generate so many views? Epic Games was already reaching popular streamers and implementing advertising campaigns with them, as stated by Head of Publishing Ed Zobrist in his presentation at GDC. In addition, there was exclusive cooperation with Twitch. Amazon Prime users who watched a Fortnite stream received an exclusive server connected the Fortnite profile to the Twitch account. A marketing move that has generated good results.

    With the success that Fortnite has had, there are several celebrities who have decided to take advantage of this hype to stand out and consequently help the game to be better known. The biggest event was at the junction of an American gamer Tyler Blevins (known as "Ninja"), famous for the broadcasts he makes of himself playing on platforms like Youtube and Twitch. He was joined by rappers Drake and Travis Scott. With this luxury cast, it was thus beaten the record in the Twitch, becoming the one of the most simultaneous public for a game outside of championship. There were 635k spectators, dislodging the audience of 338k from the previous record holder.

    Following this success the following week, the search volume for the keyword Fortnite doubled according to Google Trends, thus showing the power that influencers can have with a brand. It's a win-win relationship.

    With all this success, the theme around Fortnite turned out to be one of the trends of 2018 attracting millions of views. Although it is a simple game, it is possible to notice that the title of the same entered into genera outside the gaming environment, such as blogs. Thus, the game was able to attract both players and non-players.

    One theme that was fashionable for Fortnite was the 'Fortnite dance'. It has generated millions of views. This challenge generated 629 million views on YouTube in about 33,000 videos and 8 million Facebook views from 222 submissions. The Fortnite dance challenge generated huge proportions, reaching professional players who celebrated their achievements with the famous dance without the company having to pay for it.

    Now, responding to the question initially posed, if and how is the game for free how do you make so much money?

    On August 2018, Fortnite had become the highest grossing video game on consoles, according to a study conducted by SuperData. However, while most console releases make money from selling a hard copy or digital version of the game itself, Fortnite's revenue comes entirely from microtransactions.

    So the game itself is free, but inside the game, there are purchases that can be made to customize and enhance your character. These purchases are made with V-bucks, game money. It was only in May 2018 that these purchases generated revenues of $ 318 million according to SuperData Research. Since then, Fortnite has raised more than $ 1.2 billion in revenue, all from shopping for items such as clothing and dance moves.

    Brands and the game

    Consumers and Media are currently connected. So the media has an obligation to follow the evolution and be creative to stand out in a competitive market.

    Fortnite has opened doors for brands that want to be in front of millions of viewers through influencers. The Twitch platform allows a subscription service where users can pay for premium content, and Fortnite is the most popular game among premium subscribers. Returning to the Fortnite player "Ninja", he says, it broadcasts its game feed through Twitch, bringing $ 500,000 per month just for live streaming on the site. According to Forbes, brands can take advantage of Twitch's Boom and advertise in a number of ways, including banners, ads or short videos.

    Companies that are more likely to integrate well with a giant like Fortnite include those that already attract players. There are products that are successfully targeted at gamers like brands of energy drinks and snacks. The success of a product really depends on the match with the game and how it is played.

    We can then conclude that there were various marketing strategies used by Epic Games. From traditional marketing to relational marketing to disruptive marketing. These were the factors that made the Fortnite so well known. In addition to the game itself, the whole strategy behind the game was thought and executed in the right way, making the game become the game of the moment.

    Time will tell if other games like Apex Legends are able to disrupt such success.