Fortnite dominates gaming industry after making $2.4B in 2018, says analyst

Insert desired dance move here.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
2 min read
Getty Images

There's no doubt Epic Games had a great time in 2018.

Fortnite , the popular multiplatform video game, helped the game developer earn $2.4 billion in revenue last year, leading the market for free-to-play games, according to analysis by market research company SuperData.


Annual title-level revenue estimates, including preliminary December data.


The shooter game has made a major impact in the free-to-play market because Fortnite's battle passes -- a limited-time in-game purchase that lets players earn digital items by completing challenges -- are regularly purchased by 34 percent of Fortnite players, SuperData said. Nexon's Dungeon Fighter Online came in second with $1.5 billion in revenue. Riot Games and Tencent's League of Legends took third with $1.4 billion.

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, from Bluehole, dominated the premium PC and console games market with $1.03 million in revenue, though that was much less than Fortnite and other free-to-play games. FIFA 18 took second place in the premium category with $790 million in revenue, and Grand Theft Auto V stood in the third place with $628 million in revenue.


Annual title-level revenue estimates, including preliminary December data.


Not only the gaming industry had a good year, the game-streaming market also notched profits. The report showed that Twitch was the highest-earning video game streaming platform, with $1.6 billion in revenue, surpassing YouTube by roughly 33 percent, though Twitch has a much smaller audience.

Game streamers like Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja, also raked in nearly $10 million dollars last year, thanks to Fortnite and streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube. Ninja has more than 20 million subscribers on YouTube and over 12.5 million followers on Twitch.

In addition, because of the massive success of Fortnite, SuperData predicted that video games will widely go multiplatform in 2019. The rollout of 5G mobile networks will also help developers offer more cloud gaming services.

SuperData is a gaming market intelligence firm under Nielsen. It based its analysis on transaction-level data; point-of-sale data from publishers, developers and payment service providers; and the monthly spending of 185 million digital gamers worldwide, according to the report.

Everything about Fortnite: What you need to know about the hit game.

Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports.