Fortnite just set a record that must be making Epic executives and investors smile from ear to ear.
SuperData recently revealed its annual video games earning report for 2018, and it suffices to say that it was a profitable year for the industry overall, with Fortnite absolutely crushing it.
The free-to-play battle royale side of the game earned a total of $2.4 billion in revenue over the course of 2018. That’s more than any game has ever made in a single year, and that doesn’t include revenue from Android or sales of its Save the World mode.
Fortnite wasn’t the only free-to-play title that did well last year. In fact, free-to-play games as a whole earned $87.7 billion, with $54.3 billion of that coming from Asian publishers. Digital games revenue totaled $109.8 billion, so that means that 80 percent of digital games revenue ironically came from free-to-play titles.
Epic isn’t the only one earning from Fortnite‘s success. SuperData reports that the amount earned from gaming video content created by streamers and YouTubers totaled $5.2 billion, with Twitch being the highest-earning platform. The most interesting fact from the report states that “online videos influence what 46 percent of [U.S.] PC and console gamers under the age of 25 play.” Sure, this obviously speaks to Fortnite‘s success, but it also could explain why, say, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and its Blackout mode crushed Battlefield V, which delayed its battle royale mode to March.
Not to be completely outdone, battle royale rival PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds earned a little over $1 billion in 2018, putting it over every other “premium” (i.e., paid) title in 2018, including FIFA 18 (and FIFA 19), Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and Red Dead Redemption 2. PUBG earned 19 percent more revenue in 2018 than it did in 2017, which was arguably its best year in terms of visibility.
Red Dead Redemption 2, which earned $516 million in 2018, earned the highest amount of digital download revenue in a single quarter for a premium title ever. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, meanwhile, doubled the number of Call of Duty: WWII‘s PC players from 594,000 to 1.4 million, with that increase attributed to Blackout.