According to the latest numbers from app intelligence company Priori Data, Fortnite has seen its biggest iOS revenue surge since October 2018, generating upwards of $2.8m daily on the release of its latest season and more than quadrupling its daily pre-season net revenue overnight.
This number only just tops that of Season 7 back in December 2018, and the game has shown remarkable consistency in terms of its Season-based peaks, reliably surging to similar levels each time. Season 8, however, which was introduced at the end of February, was comparatively far less financially successful. This was largely the result of a decision to give away free battle passes to players who completed a series of in-game objectives.
Events and item sales drove Q1 revenue
The Marshmello concert event – which also saw peak concurrent users of over 10m according to Epic – and the return of the popular soccer skins to the item shop were responsible for the only other two significant performance peaks of 2019. They both temporarily pushed daily iOS net revenue upwards of $2.6m. The previous peak, seen in October 2018, was the result of the Skull Ranger skin being added to the item shop – the female version of the recognisable Skull Trooper outfit.
Flat audience growth demonstrates high engagement
The Fortnite userbase has remained relatively flat for some time, especially compared with similar titles such as PUBG Mobile. In Q1, PUBG Mobile had almost 9x more downloads than Fortnite, and 4x as many monthly active users. Its conversion rate, however, is comparatively low, as Fortnite appears to retain and monetise the same bulk of users long-term. Fortnite’s consistent performance therefore indicates a highly engaged audience.
A stronger mobile performance likely for Q2
During Q1, Fortnite’s overall net revenue on iOS devices was surpassed by that of battle royale rival PUBG Mobile for the first time. However, the future prosperity of the title took a knock following Tencent’s decision to abandon attempts to monetise it in mainland China – a territory which accounted for 8.9m PUBG Mobile downloads in Q1. This mid-May surge therefore puts consistent high-performer Fortnite in a strong position moving into the remainder of Q2, both in terms of its battle royale competitors and in the games app market more widely. Whilst new Seasons reliably boost performance, much sought-after item shop additions are comparably lucrative.