According to analysts over at Super Data, Fortnite revenues on all platforms have declined 48% in January. This may be a cause for concern as it may be a sign that Fortnite isn’t as dominant as it once was. With that being said, this does not factor in Apex: Legends, as the game came out this early February. Though other data suggests that Apex will start to put the squeeze on Fortnite very soon.
Before we start calling Fortnite, the next ‘dead’ game. Let’s remember that this is one of the games that owned 2018. And it alone has made A LOT of money. Estimates show that Fortnite’s digital revenue to be around $2.4 billion at the end of 2018. In other words, the game’s still has a lot of money left to pump out plenty of content.
Epic Games is also not about to lie down and take it, either. Shortly after the release of Apex: Legends, one of the biggest balance patches to hit Fortnite came into full effect. The patch involves major changes like the passive that restores health when killing an enemy player and capping all building materials at 500. On the surface, it may seem like these changes are a mean of encouraging players to play more aggressively. (As well as dissuading players from getting into long, drawn out build battles.) There might be more to it than that.The fact that no one saw these changes coming and the timing of these changes rolling out just as Apex was hitting its stride, may indicate that Epic might be wanting to retain as many players as possible by keeping the experience somewhat fresh.
Though it’s not like the company has to worry too much as a successful string of events plus the upcoming Season 8, which will no doubt bring in more players willing to part with their spare change.
Earlier this month, Fortnite held its first live Marshmello concert in Pleasant Park. The roughly 10 minute long event drew in many players and can be seen as one of the biggest successes for the game yet. Better still, player numbers held up strong in the month of February despite Apex’s growing popularity. And finally, with Season 8 just around the corner, there will be no doubt that the servers will be full of players in the first few days.
Now, it’s no secret that Apex: Legends is looking like the game to beat in 2019. In little over a month, Apex, with its fun gameplay and revolutionary ping system, has lured many players away from games like Fortnite. With Respawn recently announcing that Apex crossed the 25 million player count, it is proving to be the smash hit no one saw coming. So, is this where all the lost Fortnite revenue is going towards nowadays? Sadly, we can’t really say. The game is barely out a month. And not enough data is out to make an estimate as to how much money Apex is making. However, we can always rely on the next best thing: Twitch viewer counts.
As of the writing of this article, Apex Legends currently sits at 153K viewers on Twitch. While Fortnite only has roughly half of that at 78.7K viewers. This is a tell tale sign of the gap between both games. As a more active player base in and out of the game is still a potential source of revenue. Even if a small portion of the players watching are spending money on said game.
In conclusion, it is my opinion that Fortnite is just finally showing its age. The data suggests that the decline has nothing to do with Apex. It may simply be a case of gamers looking for greener pastures. Though there is no denying that other Battle Royale games such as Apex: Legends have started taking a bite out of Fortnite. It’ll take a while longer still for Fortnite to relinquish its crown.