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The game that’s sweeping the world—and much its cash.
MONEY FOR NOTHING

Fortnite is free, but the average player spends $58 on it

By Dave Gershgorn

Fortnite Battle Royale makes a lot of money.

Even though the game is free to download, players can buy cosmetic items like pickaxes, dance moves, and outfits to personalize their characters—and it adds up. The average Fortnite player who coughs up money spends $84.67, according to a new study by financial services company Lendedu. Nearly 70% of players buy digital items. For all players, spending and not spending, the average becomes $58.25.

The findings track with an earlier report that Fortnite made $296 million in April revenue for its publisher, Epic Games. And it’s not unprecedented for a game to have this kind of massive financial success. Blizzard’s first-person shooter Overwatch, which also features purchases in the form of randomized loot boxes, made more than $1 billion in revenue its first year.

Nearly 60% of the money Fortnite players spent was on new outfits or characters—typically bigger-ticket items ranging from $8 to $20, according to the Lendedu survey of 1,000 frequent Fortnite players. The smallest spending category was emotes, novelty moves or dances your character can be made to do, at 9.52%.

Despite Epic Games’ disclaimers, however, nearly 20% of gamers who bought these digital items did not realize it didn’t give them an advantage during the game.