Court documents reveal just how profitable Epic's battle royale continues to be.
As ᴏɴce-cᴏɴfidential cᴏᴜʀt ᴅᴏcuᴍᴇnts ᴄᴏɴᴛɪɴᴜᴇ ᴛᴏ eᴍᴇrge ꜰʀᴏᴍ Epic's ᴏɴɢᴏɪɴg ʟᴇɢal bᴀᴛtle wɪᴛh Apple, ɪᴛ's ɴᴏw ʙᴇen reveaʟᴇᴅ thᴀᴛ Fᴏʀtnɪᴛe ᴇᴀʀned a staggerɪɴg $9.1 billiᴏɴ ʙᴇtᴡᴇen 2018 ᴀɴd 2019.
In a financial presentation dated January 2020 (via The Verge), Epic reports that the battle royale raked $5.8 billion in 2018 and $3.7 billion in 2019. That grossly outshines any other game owned by Epic (including Rocket League and Battle Breakers), which account for $108 million over those 2 years. The Unreal Engine achieved a more impressive $220 million—over double what non-Fortnite games earned, but still vastly less than Fortnite itself.
Epic's overall profits for those two years came to $5.5bn. That includes all sides of its business, including the Epic Games Store—which, as we found out this year, has been running at a loss in trying to brute force a space as a viable Steam competitor. What's staggering is the extent to which Fortnite dominates Epic's income streams.
A presentation from later in 2020 (via Eurogamer) further breaks down Fortnite's successes. Marvel has been by far the most successful brand collaboration, and Epic plans to move Fortnite even further beyond battle royale as an "open world simulation sandbox". Epic had also planned to give Fortnite's revenue a shot in the arm by partnering with Apple on mobile optimisations, Party Royale promotions, and a bigger Marvel push.
Something tells me that's not exactly in the cards right now.
Epic's three-week court case with Apple began in earnest today, and has already been spilling secrets such as Sony's cross-platform charges, and the amount Epic pays for those store exclusives. That is, when the case hasn't been halted by an open phone line leading to hundreds of kids shouting "free Fortnite".