Epic Games battle royale phenomenon Fortnite earned ‘the most annual revenue of any game in history’ across 2018, according to a report from gaming analytics firm SuperData.
The hugely successful video game, played by more than 200 million players worldwide, made $2.4bn last year according to SuperData. While the base game is free to download, Fortnite drives revenue by selling in-game ‘skins’ and emotes via microtransactions, as well as the regular ‘Battle Pass’ season updates that offer players new challenges.
The report says that the success of Fortnite was a major factor in digital games revenue jumping 11pc over 2017 with $109.8bn made across mobile, console and PC. Digital games revenue is expected to top $118bn in 2019.
Free-to-play games, such as Fortnite, made up 80pc of global revenues, with 62pc of that figure coming from Asia, driven by games such as Tencent’s Honour of Kings in China.
While free-to-play has become the dominant business model in terms of global revenue, premium gaming remains a hugely significant sector, particularly in the West. Premium games revenue jumped 10pc to $17.8bn, with games such as FIFA 18 ($790m), Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 ($612m) and Red Dead Redemption 2 ($516m) some of the top earners.
Top earning free-to-play games 2018
- Fortnite, Epic Games – $2.4 billion
- Dungeon Fighter Online, Nexon – $1.5 billion
- League of Legends, Riot Games, Tencent – $1.4 billion
- Pokemon GO, Niantic – $1.3 billion
- Crossfire, Neowiz Games – $1.3 billion
- Honour of Kings, Tencent – $1.3 billion
- Fate/Grand Order, Aniplex – $1.2 billion
- Candy Crush Saga, King, Activision Blizzard – $1.1 billion
- Monster Strike, Mixi – $1.0 billion
- Clash Royale, Supercell, Tencent – $0.9 billion
Top earning premium games 2018
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Bluehole – $1.028 billion
- FIFA 18, Electronic Arts – $790 million
- Grand Theft Auto V, Take-Two Interactive – $628 million
- Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII, Activision Blizzard – $612 million
- Red Dead Redemption 2, Take-Two Interactive – $516 million
- Call of Duty: WWII, Activision Blizzard – $506 million
- FIFA 19, Electronic Arts – $482 million
- Monster Hunter: World, Capcom – $467 million
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Ubisoft – $440 million
- Overwatch, Activision Blizzard – $429 million
*All figures from Superdata