Fortnite and gaming
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
13 June 2018
2018 E3, Fortnite shows gaming is alive and well
In early 2017, Barron’s headline “Video Game Sales Are Fading and It’s Crushing Game Stop” suggests that there was something wrong with video game sales. The article’s title misled readers as Game Stop suffers a similar fate as other brick-and-mortar retailers. I think the video game category has overcome its problems. Just look at Fortnite.
While free to play, Fortnite took in $126M in revenue last February from the purchase of in-game vanity items. These items provide zero player benefit other than customizing the player’s character appearance.
This year’s E3, the bellwether of video gaming, further illustrates the category’s success. Take Bethesda’s press conference this year, announcing its ninth entry into their very popular Fallout series, Fallout 76. The huge tent and center stage drew a packed house.
Sure, everyone there was a fan of the series. But it just shows you how many fans there are as well as how fervent the fan base is. Tons of dollars are being spent in the development and marketing of games with the expectation that tons of money will be made. (Just for some color, Bethesda shipped 12 million copies of the last Fallout game, Fallout 4, to retailers in the first 24 hours of its release. At $60 a copy, you can do the math.)
“Gamers know who makes the games and look for those developers’ latest releases.”
Fortnite represents just one success
Bethesda is not the only studio cashing in. EA and Microsoft announced it is working on an online game streaming service like a Netflix for games. And the aforementioned Fortnite sports a Pro-Am tournament with a prize pool of $3M where more than 700,000 people watching the event live via Twitich. Forbe’s magazine is even covering the event.
Let’s be real. It’s not only E3 demonstrating that the video game category is alive and well. It’s the category itself. ESPN covers gaming tournaments. Sites like Twitch broadcast live games from people from all over the world, playing any game imaginable.
There is something else fascinating going on here. The developers of these games have figured out how to get gamers to connect with their brands. This goes beyond the games themselves. Gamers know who makes the games and look for those developers’ latest releases. People who play Fortnite know Epic Games is the developer. Gamers who play Fallout or Elder Scrolls know that Bethesda is the developer. People who play Madden or Mass Effect know that EA is the developer. These are strong brands and have a devoted following. A new EA, Epic or Bethesda game has an immediate following because gamers have an idea of what to expect. This is branding 101.
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to include game developers into your list of the world’s most powerful brands.
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