November 17, 2021
Games Innovation Technology

Almost Half Fortnite’s Revenue Is From PS4, According To Apple Court Docs

In an effort to paint Epic’s case against Apple in a poor light, the megacorp is turning to metrics that show just what a small piece of overall revenue the iOS version of the game is. And while yes, that’s true, it’s more interesting to see the total breakdown across all the platforms, which reinforces just how dominant one particular console was last generation.

The documents show that from March 2018 to July 2020, the breakdown of Fortnite revenue by platform was as follows:

  • PS4: 46.8%
  • Xbox One: 27.5%
  • Android, Switch, PC: 18.7%
  • iOS: 7%

And on top of that, the exact ranking order is supposed to be:

  1. PlayStation
  2. Xbox
  3. Switch
  4. PC
  5. iOS
  6. Android, though sometimes iOS is below Android

I guess Apple is trying to show that the Fortnite ban from the iOS store isn’t a big deal to Epic’s bottom line like they’re trying to say, especially since we’re talking a 30% cut to Apple instead of a 12% cut like Epic wants to see. But I don’t know if that changes the underlying principles behind the case. I’ll leave that to the lawyers.

It is interesting to see two things in particular. First, that PS4 having almost double the revenue of Xbox reinforces the notion that PS4 probably around doubled the sales of the Xbox One last generation, which was always the estimate, but Microsoft stopped reporting Xbox numbers to avoid those types of comparisons. But other data always suggested it was about that ratio, and these numbers would reinforce that.

Second, I think there has been a big perception that Fortnite is a huge game on PC, but you can see that it’s really not compared to console. Even if almost all the big Fortnite streamers you and especially your kids have heard of are playing on PC for better performance and potentially higher skill play (and it being easier to stream) that is not the case with the general public, and most Fortnite players, including likely a large portion of its younger players, are simply playing on console, be it PS4, Xbox or Switch. Very interesting to see, and I would be curious to see how say, Minecraft numbers stack up in these categories as well, another formerly PC-centric game that has found huge success on consoles.

In any case, this week is supposed to be a big moment in the Apple-Epic case, so we’ll see what happens next. Stay tuned.

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