Fortnite: The history of the modern gaming industry

In the distant ancient time long ago, before 2005 AD, there were only games that could only be played in the world. Whether it is a stand-alone game or an online game, you must pay a sum of money to buy a game or buy a card, in order to play it seriously; some games allow you to play for free, but when you play to a certain extent, a “pay “Interface, forcing you to buy some cards or keys. Even pirated games required payment: copies of floppy disks cost money, CDs cost money, and downloading games costs money. Of course, these paid games still exist today, and there are a lot of them; but they are only a part of the game industry, and the other part is filled by a huge number of free online games, page games and mobile games. All of this is due to the two paid revolutions: it is these two paid revolutions that turned the game into what we know today, dominated by various in-app paid games.

As a game designer who has been engaged in this industry since ancient times (about the Holocene PS2 period around 2003), if I say I like in-app purchases, it must be a lie. Throughout my career in the industry, I have been impressed by the elaborate game design of other peers countless times, but most of the time I only have aversion to the commercial design of the game: “Another damn damn pay point.” In the past ten years, only two games have been commercialized to surprise me-that is exactly the representative game of two paid revolutions. The two games that hit me are “Journey” and “Royal”-these two games, which are now “free-to-play” (Free-to-play) in the entire game industry. And the predecessor of “Gacha” commercial model.

If we only talk about game design, these two games can be said to have no merit. Journey is a legendary variant, and the thief Royale is more than it. It is a purely numerical game … But objectively speaking, the two paid revolutions about free games are indeed a wonderful use of game design ideas: they change Not only is the commercial form of the game, but also changed the design methods of many game types, changed the game’s customer base, and even changed the game players’ behavior, relationships and society in the game.

And after I played Fortnite’s recent fourth and fifth seasons, I realized that the third paid revolution in the gaming industry might be coming. There is not much to say about the game design part of Fortnite, and I will not talk about it in this article. It is not the inventor of the Battle Royale (eating chicken) mode, the improvement of the chicken eating mode is only a minor repair, and it is not interesting to have its own original house demolition module-but in terms of paid design, this The thoughts embodied in this game are truly amazing. Just like the representative products of the previous two paid revolutions, it has already proved the power of the new design with amazing results before the vast majority of people have responded: According to the data provided by Superdata, the revenue of Fortress Night in April More than 200 million U.S. dollars and May revenue of more than 300 million U.S. dollars, which is the latest revenue record for the entire gaming industry, and even exceeded the amazing income of King Glory in China.

The paid design that brought this amazing revenue to Fortnite is called “Battlepass Q4” and it opened on May 1, 2018. In other words, you can understand this revenue record in this way: users who were busy filling up tickets at the end of the third season spent $ 200 million in April, while users eager to buy Battlepass in the fourth quarter contributed $ 300 million in May Among them, the pass income on May 1 alone exceeded 50 million US dollars.