Without 'Fortnite,' Console Gaming Revenue Would Have Declined 6 Percent From Last Year

Epic Games' juggernaut crossed the billion-dollar mark in July and has bolstered the industry's overall profits this year.
Courtesy of Epic Games

Epic Games' Fortnite — which in July crossed the $1 billion revenue mark — helped buoy worldwide digital video game spending to $9.1 billion in the month of June, according to research data firm SuperData

That number represents a 15.2 percent increase from last June, when $7.9 billion in revenue was reported.

Fortnite has become a cultural phenomenon, achieving crossover appeal with references by athletes during the World Cup, athletes in the NBA and NFL, and music superstars like Drake. The game topped console revenue in June for the third straight mont,h and if its sales were removed from the charts for console revenue over Q2 of 2018, there would be a massive 6 percent drop from last year. 

As noted by many industry insiders, Fortnite's success is multifaceted: It is free to download, features in-game purchases that are cosmetic for player's characters and is available on every platform (mobile, PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation 4). In addition, Fortnite recently unveiled cross-platform play among consoles (excluding PlayStation 4). 

Elsewhere, Fortnite competitor PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), another battle royale multiplayer shooter, saw a revenue spike thanks to a Steam sale offering the game at the reduced rate of $19.99. The game sold 4.7 million units for PC in June, the most of any month since its peak in October 2017.

Also on PC, The Sims 4 continues to show impressive staying power in its fourth year as the new expansion, Seasons, sold over 800,000 copies, making it the second-most-successful expansion for the title behind November's Cats and Dogs.

Ubisoft's The Crew 2 fell far short of the French gaming studio's Far Cry 5 launch in March. The Crew 2 sold 700,000 digital units across console and PC at launch last month, while Far Cry 5 scored Ubisoft its second-highest-grossing launch of all time with $310 million.