Pretty much everyone is playing Fortnite. You’re probably playing it right now on your second monitor.
If you aren’t, your kids are likely on their tenth match of the night.
It’s so successful Samsung is including free Vbucks with the purchase of new phones. The Fortnite craze isn’t just in the US. It’s a global phenomenon.
As a marketer or business owner, is there anything you can learn from Epic’s success with their latest game? If it’s making them billions of dollars, why can’t you use parts of their philosophy for your own business ventures? Read on to learn more.
The Business Model
Most shooter games have one thing in common. They look like shooter games. The characters run around with assault and sniper rifles. They look like soldiers. They act like soldiers.
Fortnite flipped the script on this idea, instead opting for a more cartoony look and focusing on making their product more attractive to younger audiences. The game has become so popular that teachers are showing concern because the game is distracting kids from learning.
This game is like crack for children and adults alike. It’s brilliant.
It’s also completely free to play. You can read more about it in this recent article.
The hefty price tags of video games and consoles turn off a lot of people. Buying up a console and a nice television is going to cost you close to a grand. With games going anywhere from $50-$70 each, playing video games has become a really expensive habit.
So how is Epic Games expecting to rake in around $2 billion dollars this year from the game?
They sell cosmetics. You can buy “skins” and other virtual products for your character. Many of them are only sold for a limited time, so that sense of urgency to “get it while you can” definitely comes into play.
How Can You Apply This to Your Business?
Fortnite is an example of how you can give away things for free and still make a ton of money. They spent years developing a game that they just gave away. People thought they were crazy. The game’s closest competitor is PUBG, which charges for skins and other cosmetics and you also pay for the game. The platforms for the game are limited.
And they have a fraction of the sales and player base.
There are several lessons you can learn from this and here is what I’ve come up with so far.
1. Don’t Worry About the Competition
I’m sure that when Epic was releasing Fortnite, they were worried about the competition. They were worried releasing a free game could bankrupt them. But they did it anyway. They had a feeling they were on to something. They trusted their gut and moved forward and didn’t worry about their competitors.
Why worry about competition when your product or service is going to make them worry about you?
If you have a product or service and you know it’s the best around, quit worrying about what competitors are doing. Thinking outside of the box is the key to innovation in any field. A lot of marketing gurus tell you to find out what the competition is doing and emulate their efforts, looking for a way to put a unique spin on what they are doing.
This is fine I suppose. But if you want to be the best, make the most money, and sit at the top of the mountain, then you need to follow your own path.
2. Give Things Away
Give things away? Am I crazy? Probably.
But it clearly works, right? This company is proof that you can give things away and not just hang, you can dominate.
I’ve actually seen this model quite a bit with affiliate marketers. When people build niche websites, they spend some time working on an info product that they give away for free in exchange for an email address or signing up for something or another. And it seems to work. I’ve never personally tried it.
We’re at the point where consumers typically fall into one of two categories:
- Those who are constantly on the look for freebies and deals
- People who think anything that’s free is some sort of scam
The people who are afraid of scams are paying for PUBG. Those who are looking for deals are playing Fortnite.
So yes, you don’t have to give things away for free. But if you want to create repeat business, then it’s something you should definitely consider.
3. Partner Up
Epic Games hasn’t accomplished what they have without some help.
Ninja is the most popular streamer on the internet, making well over half a million dollars a month and is viewed by tens of thousands of people every time he goes live. He is a testament to how powerful influencer marketing can be for your product or service. He is featured in the most recent Samsung commercial that’s promoting the game as well. He is one of the most recognized entertainers in the world right now.
The company also recently partnered up with the NFL. Players can now purchase a football player skin and turn it into the NFL team of their choice and change the player’s number. I’m sure the NFL is getting a nice cut from the deal, but Epic Games is still coming out ahead.
These partnerships may cost them some money in the short run, but in the long game, it will keep players playing the game and spending their money.
Wrapping It Up
Well, there you have it, folks.
You probably didn’t think there was anything you could learn from Fortnite that you could actually apply to your business.
Epic Games thought outside of the box, but they didn’t do anything mindblowing. Nothing they do is super new, even though their applications of the ideas are beyond brilliant.
Take a step back and think about what you can do to make your own business and marketing ideas unique and then apply them in the same brilliant way for amazing results.