How Fortnite got out of the gaming sphere and turned into a marketing success – WAU
Learn more about the Fortnite game and understand how it emerged from the gaming universe into the world of advertising and marketing, becoming a success not only in sales, but also in viralization.
If you’re a fan of games or geek culture you’ve probably heard – even if you don’t remember now – the name Fortnite.
Even those who are not so interested in the subject may have come into contact with the game without even knowing: known figures in the sports universe, such as the player of the London football team, Antoine Griezmann, and the UFC fighter, José Aldo , celebrated their victories making reference to the game.
The game, which reached the 1 billion dollar mark in sales in just ten months, became a complete marketing success case. Yes, that’s what you’re reading!
Do you want to find out how the “Fortnite phenomenon” happened? Then follow our post!
How does the game work?
Before understanding the marketing strategies that were part of the game’s history, understand what the game is and how it works.
Fortnite is an electronic game that was released in 2011 by Epic Games. However, the version that went viral and won over fans around the world was released recently in September 2017!
To give you a little insight into the game’s success, Epic announced that in June 2018 (just 9 months after launch), there were already 125 million registered users.
The number is very good and represents a high content of viralization, which reinforces the game’s ability to reach a large number of people in a short period of time.
The main objective of Fortnite is to beat opponents in combat. Matches can take place in “solo” mode, in pairs or in teams of up to four players. To perform even better in confrontations, the character can explore the game scenario and acquire resources, search for specific items and build buildings, for example.
It is important to always be aware of the map, which is essential to bring players closer together at opportune times for combat.
The Fortnite dynamic, which is part of the Battle Royale mode, is popular among games and basically consists of three pillars: survive (and be the “last man standing”, that is, the winner), explore the environment and collect resources and equipment. In other words: whoever wins last!
A really cool feature of games of the genre is that they encourage the player to get out of their comfort zone as much as possible. This is done by reducing the “safe zones”.
When someone stays in these spaces for a long time, where there is no confrontation and the players end up hiding, there is the possibility of being forced out of the zones or even being eliminated from the game.
How did the game become a marketing case?
After understanding how the game works, you are probably still wondering about such a viralization.
After all, even if it is a cool game, with interesting graphics and good gameplay, it is still surprising that Fortnite gained such large proportions in such a short period of time.
So, let’s “start from the beginning”: in March 2018, Tyler Blevins, a famous American gamer, promoted the transmission of a Fortnite game on the Internet. So far, a common practice in the gamer universe.
The icing on the cake was in his opponents: the rappers Drake and Travis Scott. That match broke records in audience of spectators, reaching a number of 635 thousand people (the previous record was 338 thousand).
Since then, the game’s popularity has increased considerably. Another event responsible for strengthening its popularity was the Football World Cup, in June of the same year.
A series of players, in the typical practice of celebrating goals by making some reference (often unknown, but that quickly go viral after having the meaning understood by the general public), mentioned Fortnite when making symbols referring to the game.
In addition to the fact that the game has conquered figures with worldwide visibility, there were also very well thought out strategies for launching and broadcasting the game.
One of them – perhaps the main one – was the multiplatform functionality: for a long time, games exclusively for computers managed to sustain themselves in an excellent way. Now, in the age of mobile devices, you need to think of strategies that turn games into resources “always in the palm of your hand”.
Fortnite allows games to be started on the computer, for example, and then transferred to a mobile device or console. In other words: it is even more difficult to stop playing!
What can we learn from Fortnite’s success?
A live stream and a series of players mentioning Fortnite. The similarity found between the two cases has a name, and is called influence marketing.
Influence marketing is based on strategies that involve content producers with great influence on their respective audiences. They are the old “bloggers” who, in the early days of the Internet, already maintained blogs and started to draw the attention of brands.
At that time, it was already possible to realize the wide reach of people who shared their lives and experiences (be they professional or personal) on the Internet. The audience that watched them was very loyal and, literally, bought the ideas exposed by the people on the web.
From then on, brands saw a promising opportunity to profit by investing in this type of marketing strategy, which escapes those traditional and often distant or obvious advertising campaigns. Buying something after seeing an advertisement between the newspaper and the soap opera is a practice that is in the past.
Nowadays what matters is the feeling of trust and spontaneity on the Internet. No one wants to be attracted to abusive or fake ads anymore. Blogs gave way to profiles on social networks – like Instagram, mainly – and bloggers became Digital Influencers.
The market, which a few years ago was embryonic, is reaching numbers in the billions: a study by an American agency predicts that by 2020 companies will spend an amount that transits between 5 and 10 billion dollars with influencers!
Where do we want to go with all this? It’s simple: influencers were largely responsible for Fortnite’s marketing success.
We have already mentioned other important attributes for the game to become popular, however, those resounding numbers probably would not have been achieved in such a short time if the viralization had not come from notable figures and with an influential character.
Taking inspiration from famous behaviors has always been a common feature in society, and the phenomenon was not started with bloggers or digital influencers.
Globo’s SAC, which occasionally divulged names of the most popular products / accessories in soap operas, is an example. At that time, the viewer saw an enamel, piece of clothing or any other valuable object that inspired him in some way. Then, he called the station with the objective of knowing his name, brand, price and everything else that was possible. What has changed? Accessibility and speed in which information is disseminated.
In a matter of minutes it was already possible to know that the celebration of the London team player made reference to Fortnite. And, a few minutes later, the game was already starting, after all many people want to know “what is the game that Drake plays in his spare time”.
Such success and viralization can teach us a lot about the power of influential marketing, and how companies that don’t exploit it yet may be missing out on it.
Currently, there are very cheap and highly efficient ways of working with influencers. There is no need to invest thousands of reais in the strategy, and smaller companies can venture relatively safely into the industry to find out if the practice is indeed profitable.
Bonus: Did you know that even Netflix sees Fortnite as a threat?
You didn `t see it coming! Netflix named Fortnite as one of its big competitors. Yes that’s right!
A report released by the streaming service hinted that its main concerns are not with direct competitors like HBO, Hulu or Amazon Prime, but with an online game.
The reason for this would be the user’s screen time. Experts point to the idea that, in addition to leaving Netflix to play Fortnite, there is another problem at issue.
Those interested in games (which are a giant number and desired by the streaming giant) are stopping watching movies and series to watch material made by content producers related to the game. Remember what we talked about about influencers? Yeah!
What we can learn from all this is that, in addition to technical qualities, any product – be it a game, be it an object of value or the fruit of entertainment – will only survive with praise when there is a good marketing strategy developed.
We don’t know how far Fortnite works with influencers and how this is done, but whether spontaneously or not, investing in these figures is a great hit.
With the game’s success story, you must be thinking about this new marketing trend. And speaking of trends, see what the promises are for 2019!