Due to Fortnite’s massive success, it seems like every game studio is taking notes. One thing that shocked players and developers alike is the game’s price: it’s free.
At first, this might seem like a huge mistake, but it was really the first genius move that skyrocketed its success. In its money-filled footsteps, games like Apex Legends and even CS:GO became free.
When people see a free game, or free anything, they usually get it. It’s basically a human instinct, and Epic realizes and abuses this. Once they get the game, the polish and quality of the game comes as a surprise, further hooking them. It really doesn’t seem like a free game.
All of this hooks you in, and they’ve got you.
You start seeing people that look really cool, and want a piece of that. This is when they strike. Battle passes, the item shop, and a constant flow of LTMs and events advertising make it really tempting to get a skin, and maybe a few more. They keep the content coming, and people will keep buying. That’s why it’s such a great business model – it’s sustainable. Money will keep coming in until the death of the game, which doesn’t seem close. They’ve dropped so much money into advertising their skins through streamers, tournaments, LTMS, etc. it’s really hard to ignore.
Microtransactions and freemiums seem to be the trend right now, like it or not. But we should thank Fortnite for persuading so many games to become free. This was an industry-changing move. Overall, this seems to echo companies’ move towards long-term purchases and subscriptions. Just look at all the video-streaming services: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Crackle, the list can go on.
You can’t get anything on the internet without subscribing, and Fortnite essentially did the same thing, but without you even realizing it. They prey on our impulses and try to get us addicted. For your pride, don’t spend too much money on Fortnite, it’s not worth it.
Furthermore, after the spike in Fortnite’s popularity, Apex Legends releases for free and a vast microtransaction-filled store alongside it. Not a coincidence, and guess what? 53 million players. That puts it around #5 most popular of all time, which is pretty crazy considering it’s basically riding the wave of another game. As said before, everyone is just trying to copy the “Fortnite formula”, so we’ll probably see the effects of this for years to come.
And honestly, that’s great. Epic Games are some great devs, and created something super memorable. Count me in!