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Fortnite is making close to $2 million a day from iPhone users

It’s killing Candy Crush, Clash of Clans and Pokémon Go. Just wait until it gets to Android ...

A screenshot of Fortnite Battle Royale Epic Games
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

How do you make a lot of money from mobile games?


Step 1: Create an enormously popular mobile game.

Step 2: Give players the ability to buy ... something. Doesn’t have to have any value. Just ... something.

Step 3: Give Apple 30 percent of your take.

Step 4: Enjoy the rest of your money.

And here’s Epic Games, the publisher behind Fortnite: Battle Royale, making all of that look incredibly easy.

Fortnite — think Minecraft married to “Hunger Games” — was already a giant hit before the game came to iOS in March. Then Epic started letting users play on iPhones and other Apple devices, and at least 11 million people have downloaded that version

And then many of those players have started spending money: The game has now grossed more than $15 million since launch and is now generating more than $1.8 million a day, per SensorTower. For reference: It is crushing Candy Crush, Clash of Clans and Pokémon Go.

Two things to keep in mind when you think about all of that money Fortnite is making:

  1. That number is going to go way up, because the game isn’t on Android devices yet.
  2. The astonishing thing about players spending money on Fortnite isn’t that they’re spending money on a mobile game, it’s that none of the spending helps them play the mobile game. You can buy cool outfits, gear and even dance moves in Fortnite, but none of it gives you an advantage over other players: All of the goods you buy are not only virtual, but cosmetic.

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