Everyone knows that Fortnite has been an enormous hit for Epic Games, but fans are only now learning just how big of a hit it really is.
Epic is currently in the middle of a critical lawsuit with Apple over the iOS version of the game. As is standard with legal battles, both sides of the courtroom need to provide certain information and documents to the court which are then made available to the public. Among that information is financial reports from Epic Games. Within that report are the exact details about how much money Epic has made since the launch of Fortnite, and how big the game really is to the company.
We now know Epic Games revenue for the past three years thanks to court documents.
2018: $5.7 billion
2019: $4.2 billion
2020: $5.1 billion
97% of 2018 revenue was Fortnite. 88% in 2019. https://t.co/Lj1ZV06NP5
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) May 3, 2021
According to The Verge, Fortnite earned Epic Games over $5.5 billion in 2018 and made up 97% of Epic Games’ revenue during that year. In 2019, Fortnite made nearly $3.7 billion for approximately 88% of the company’s annual revenue. In 2020 Epic made over $5 billion, and while it is unclear how much of that came from Fortnite, the game has likely made well over $10 billion in total to this point.
It’s no surprise that Fortnite has been a smashing success for Epic Games and was likely the driving force powering the publisher’s decision to launch its own digital store. Still, it’s a surprise to see just how much money the game has brought in and how much of Epic’s gross income comes from the game.
Why is Epic Games suing Apple?
The legal battle between Epic Games and Apple stems from Epic’s attempts to avoid the iOS app store’s fees. Last year, Epic ran a promotion where Fortnite players on mobile devices had the opportunity to purchase V-bucks directly through the Fortnite app at a discounted rate. This prevented both Apple and Google from taking a percentage of these purchases.
In response, both Apple and Google removed Fortnite from their respective app stores and prevented mobile players from updating their games. Though Epic and Google have not escalated the dispute to court yet, Epic and Apple’s feud progressed very quickly with Epic spurring on the #FreeFortnite movement in hopes of vilifying Apple.
What is #FreeFortnite?
The #FreeFortnite hashtag is designed to show solidarity with Epic Games in its court case opposite Apple. #FreeFortnite was coined by Epic Games after Fortnite was pulled from the Android and iOS app stores. It rose to prominence following a Fortnite-themed video of Apple’s iconic “1984” commercial entitled “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite.”
The hashtag quickly gained traction among Fortnite fans and returned to prominence when the Epic Games and Apple court proceedings began. Though Google also banned Fortnite from the Android app store, #FreeFortnite has almost exclusively been targeted towards Apple.