When Epic Games and People Can Fly released Fortnite Battle Royale back in September 2017, many people called the game mode a clone of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and even the developer of that game, PUBG Corp., considered legal action. It now seems that PUBG Corp. was correct to be concerned about the burgeoning popularity of Fortnite, because the game mode has now grown from a PUBG rival to become the biggest battle royale game on the block.
That information comes from games industry analysis firm SuperData Research which has confirmed that Fortnite now makes more money than PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. In a newly published report, SuperData reveals that in February 2018, Fortnite surpassed PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in terms of revenue, with Fortnite making $126 million in comparison to PUBG‘s $103 million.
SuperData cites several reasons for this, including the fact that Fortnite Battle Royale is free to play while PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds costs $30 to download. This leads to more players engaging with Fortnite because of the non-existent barrier to entry.
Although Fortnite‘s Save The World game mode does cost money and therefore contributes to that $126 million figure, the majority of money is made through the sale of Battle Royale’s cosmetic items such as character and weapon skins. While PUBG also offers loot boxes, the majority of the money that the game makes is through those $30 unlocks.
The firm also points to the fact that Fortnite has been available across PC and consoles since it launched. In comparison, PUBG didn’t come to Xbox One until December, and the game has yet to be released on PlayStation 4. However, a PS4 release may be in the cards.
Additionally, Fortnite‘s lenient learning curve and its graphics make it seem more child-friendly, so much so that parents are concerned about how much time their children spend playing. The report also notes that PUBG is hampered by the ongoing concern surrounding cheating, which has led at least some players to stop playing the game.
Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds are not the only battle royale games on the scene and the genre has exploded in popularity over the past year. There are tons of battle royale games on mobile (Fortnite and PUBG just launched official mobile ports, too) and there are plenty of other companies trying to offer their own spin on the genre, including H1Z1‘s battle royale mode with vehicles. So, while the competition between Fortnite and PUBG looks fierce, they may not the be the only battle royale titles at the top of the food chain for very long.
Fortnite is available now in early access for iOS devices, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Source: SuperData Research