iPhone users’ $18m Fortnite splurge
FORTNITE is a free iPhone game - but that didn't stop players spending an incredible $18 million on it last month.
The staggering amount of cash was blown on virtual Fortnite items during the game's first month on mobile.
The hit video game launched on consoles back in 2017, but only debuted on iPhone on March 16.
iPhone players could initially only access the game with an invitation - but on April 2 it became available to everyone.
On that day alone, research firm Sensor Tower reports that players spent $2.4 million. That's compared to an average of $800,000 per day that was being generated during the invite-only iPhone beta test.
"The sharp increase in revenue is largely the result of new players entering the game's mobile ecosystem," explained Randy Nelson, Sensor Tower's mobile insights boss.
"But we'd already seen a steady increase in mobile spending leading up to the invite system's removal.
"That can be traced in part to Epic Games experimenting with promotions such as the starter pack."
The Starter Pack is an $8 bundle that gets you a "rogue agent" outfit, the "Catalyst Back Bling" virtual backpack and 600 V-Bucks.
V-Bucks is Fortnite's virtual currency, and can be used to buy digital cosmetic items - like new outfits.
Although the Fortnite Battle Royale game is free to buy, players can only get V-Bucks by spending money. Buying 1000 V-Bucks will set you back about $14.
One of the latest additions to the game is the new Raven Outfit, which requires 2000 V-Bucks to purchase.
To get that, you'd need to buy the 2800 V-Bucks bundle, which costs more than $35.
The game is available on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac and now iPhone too and Fortnite currently ranks as the top "free" game in the Apple App Store.
It's been downloaded more than 11 million times globally, and has a rating of 4.3/5 - based on 53,174 user reviews.
The game is hugely popular with young people, and has a 12+ age rating on the App Store.
So it's entirely possible that lots of children are spending money on virtual items in Fortnite.
WHAT IS FORTNITE?
In the game, up to 100 players are dropped on to a fictional island. Players are then forced to battle it out in a last-person-standing death match.
To help, players can collect a range of weapons hidden all over the island. You can also collect resources - like wood, bricks and metal - to build defensive structures.
The area you can play in on the island is constantly shrinking thanks to an encroaching storm which means players are forced together over time, until just one person survives.