For a free game, “Fortnite: Battle Royale” is bringing in a ton of cash.
The wildly popular video game just raked in $318 million in May — setting a record for the biggest sales month ever for a free game, according to a report from SuperData Research on Tuesday. Yes, that makes it even bigger than the “Pokemon Go” mania of 2016, and also ran past the previous benchmark of $223.6 million, set by “Lineage M” last July.
Unless you’ve been in a coma the for the last year, you’ve probably at least heard about the “Fortnite” craze, or been swept up in it yourself. If you’re unfamiliar, the game pits 100 players against one another in a battle-to-the-death. Players can play solo, or team up in pairs or teams to try and navigate to the “eye of the storm” — a shrinking landscape that forces players to fight, rather than hide. You can play it on several platforms, including Xbox, Playstation, Mac, PC, and iOS.
And while the game is “free,” players are paying up to buy “V-Bucks,” the game’s virtual currency, to grab special weapons and outfits for their digital avatars. With a network of more than 40 million players — including Drake and NBA star Paul George — that adds up.
Since launching “Battle Royale” less than a year ago, the game has made $1.2 billion in revenue. But there are also signs “Fortnite” might be plateauing, at least a bit, with its revenue growth slowing to 7.6 percent month-over-month in May, compared to 32 percent in April. Epic Games, the company behind “Fortnite,” is rushing to release the Android version of the game this summer to capitalize on its immense popularity.