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'Fortnite Mobile' Is Out-Earning 'Pokémon GO,' 'Candy Crush' And 'Clash Of Clans'

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Sensor Tower

It’s only been on the market three weeks, but in that time, Fortnite’s mobile iOS version has been making waves. According to tracking firm Sensor Tower, Epic’s shooter is out-earning the likes of other powerhouses in the industry, from Pokémon GO, to Clash of Clans, to Candy Crush, as seen in the chart above.

Fortnite has earned $15 million since its mobile version launched, with $6.4 of that in the last week alone, which is after the game went live to all, rather than being invite-only as it was at launch.

I think a bit of context is needed here on both sides, to get a better sense of these numbers. It’s true that all of these games are pretty old at this point, with Candy Crush and Clash of Clans having been around for years at this point, so them being out-earned by a newcomer isn’t all that stunning.

However, what Fortnite is doing here is still extremely impressive. Why?

  • Unlike these other games, Fortnite mobile is simply an alternate platform for the PC and console versions, complete with account sharing and cross-play. The fact that it’s earning this much on mobile devices when players could easily be making these purchases on their PC and console copies of the game as well makes these numbers all the more significant.
  • Fortnite’s monetization is not exactly what I would call…aggressive. Not only does it have only cosmetic items for sale, while Candy Crush sells lives, Clash of Clans sells resources and time-skipping, and Pokémon GO sells in-game items, Fortnite is also selling its cosmetics without gambling-based loot boxes. They have the one-time purchase Battle Pass for the season, and the ability to purchase items from the store directly using V-bucks (effectively cash, though V-bucks can also be earned). That’s it. To put up big numbers without monetization that is particularly exploitative stands out in the current state of the industry, especially the mobile market.

As I’ve said before, Fortnite on mobile is probably not going to be many people’s favorite way to play the game, but in a pinch, it does just fine, and obviously a lot of players want to get their Fortnite fix on the go when they’re away from their console or PC. And thanks to account sharing and cross-play, they can both make progress on their challenges/Battle Pass and play with friends while on mobile. It’s a great system.

Sensor Tower

Fortnite really is an important experiment for the future of gaming in terms of how it links a full version of the game across three different platforms. Few other games have or even can do this, short of another monster hit like Minecraft, but part of Epic’s pitch here is that if you use the Unreal Engine, you can do something like this too (PUBG, also on Unreal, has fully launched its own mobile version now). So I would expect other games to follow suit in the future.

I don’t know if mobile will ever be Fortnite’s primary revenue driver, but $6M+ a week is nothing to sneeze at (this is before coming to Android), and I expect that to only grow now that the game has moved out of its invite-only stage. The Fortnite train hasn’t slowed yet, and mobile is only helping to accelerate it further.

Follow me&nbsp;on Twitter&nbsp;and&nbsp;on Facebook. Pick up my sci-fi novel series,&nbsp;The Earthborn Trilogy, which is now in print, online and on&nbsp;audiobook.

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Sensor Tower

It’s only been on the market three weeks, but in that time, Fortnite’s mobile iOS version has been making waves. According to tracking firm Sensor Tower, Epic’s shooter is out-earning the likes of other powerhouses in the industry, from Pokémon GO, to Clash of Clans, to Candy Crush, as seen in the chart above.

Fortnite has earned $15 million since its mobile version launched, with $6.4 of that in the last week alone, which is after the game went live to all, rather than being invite-only as it was at launch.

I think a bit of context is needed here on both sides, to get a better sense of these numbers. It’s true that all of these games are pretty old at this point, with Candy Crush and Clash of Clans having been around for years at this point, so them being out-earned by a newcomer isn’t all that stunning.

However, what Fortnite is doing here is still extremely impressive. Why?

  • Unlike these other games, Fortnite mobile is simply an alternate platform for the PC and console versions, complete with account sharing and cross-play. The fact that it’s earning this much on mobile devices when players could easily be making these purchases on their PC and console copies of the game as well makes these numbers all the more significant.
  • Fortnite’s monetization is not exactly what I would call…aggressive. Not only does it have only cosmetic items for sale, while Candy Crush sells lives, Clash of Clans sells resources and time-skipping, and Pokémon GO sells in-game items, Fortnite is also selling its cosmetics without gambling-based loot boxes. They have the one-time purchase Battle Pass for the season, and the ability to purchase items from the store directly using V-bucks (effectively cash, though V-bucks can also be earned). That’s it. To put up big numbers without monetization that is particularly exploitative stands out in the current state of the industry, especially the mobile market.

As I’ve said before, Fortnite on mobile is probably not going to be many people’s favorite way to play the game, but in a pinch, it does just fine, and obviously a lot of players want to get their Fortnite fix on the go when they’re away from their console or PC. And thanks to account sharing and cross-play, they can both make progress on their challenges/Battle Pass and play with friends while on mobile. It’s a great system.

Sensor Tower

Fortnite really is an important experiment for the future of gaming in terms of how it links a full version of the game across three different platforms. Few other games have or even can do this, short of another monster hit like Minecraft, but part of Epic’s pitch here is that if you use the Unreal Engine, you can do something like this too (PUBG, also on Unreal, has fully launched its own mobile version now). So I would expect other games to follow suit in the future.

I don’t know if mobile will ever be Fortnite’s primary revenue driver, but $6M+ a week is nothing to sneeze at (this is before coming to Android), and I expect that to only grow now that the game has moved out of its invite-only stage. The Fortnite train hasn’t slowed yet, and mobile is only helping to accelerate it further.

Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook. Pick up my sci-fi novel series, The Earthborn Trilogy, which is now in print, online and on audiobook.

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