Believe it or not, Fortnite wasn’t the most successful game of 2018 in terms of revenue sales. NetEase’s Knives Out was the top breadwinner of 2018, beating out Fortnite this year in a close battle.
A report from SensorTower says that Fortnite, which grossed $455 million last year, was beat by Knives Out, another battle royale game, by roughly $10 million, with $465 million total. With all of the Fortnite’s momentum, the fact that a rather unknown game beat it out seems baffling.
But that is becausethe success of Knives Out isn’t based around the United States, which represents less than one percent of their 2018 revenue. Their success is more well known in Japan, where it is the country’s most popular battle royale title. A massive 80 percent of Knives Out’s revenue last year came from Japan, with SensorTower pointing out that it is around 11 times more than what rival PUBG Mobile did in the country.
Sales in China were very strong as well. Although the country only represents around 18 percent of Knives Out’s revenue, that amounts to around $81 million in sales. This is thanks to the game’s ability to accept in-app payments from users in the country.
Although they are not the top grossing game of 2018, Fortnite still has massive momentum, continually breaking records that led to their $455 million gross last year. New installations in December rose 59 percent over November, with the game being downloaded 82.6 million times overall on Apple’s App Store as of December.
Thanks to Fortnite’s massive success, Epic Games is now worth somewhere around $8 billion. The game’s success has led Epic to create their own game store that fully intends on rivalling Valve’s Steam Store.
Gabe Newell and Tim Sweeney, CEOs of Valve and Epic respectively, are also feuding on Bloomberg’s billionaires index, with Sweeney edging out Newell at number 195. NetEase CEO William Ding, however, trounces them both at number 74.