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Earning $2,000,000 a day. Fastlane?

MJ DeMarco

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Interesting read.

The "Scriptification" of the masses is a great business model. And insanely popular.

Any players here?

Sounds like it's terribly fun. Like, terribly dangerous to getting anything else done!

‘Fortnite’ figured out the secret to making a hit videogame in 2018

“Fortnite: Battle Royale” has discovered the secret sauce for a perfect videogame hit in 2018.

The free-to-play title from privately held Epic Games Inc. has become the most financially successful free game on consoles of all time, according to SuperData. It is said to be raking in $2 million a day from Apple Inc.’s AAPL, -1.16% iOS players less than three weeks after it’s April 1 launch on that platform, and in March the game brought in $233 million across all platforms. Beyond enjoying a cash windfall, it’s something of a cultural phenomenon: The seemingly overnight rise of the title has captured the attention of professional athletes, who say it is a frequent locker room topic, and has even been used by a high-school student to ask someone to prom, part of a social experience that has made the game a meeting place for players.
 

Thoelt53

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I hadn't heard of it until a week or two ago, when a few guys at work were talking about it. Now it seems that I'm hearing about Fortnite everywhere I go. I still haven't played it though, and I don't think I will. As a friend of mine once said, "I've never tried ecstasy; I'm afraid I will like it too much."

"Fortnite was revealed at the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards (VGA), with Epic's former design director Cliff Bleszinski introducing a trailer for the game.[9] Donald Mustard, creative lead at Epic, said in 2017 that this announcement was "three weeks after we came up with the idea, before we even made the game"."

Fortnite - Wikipedia

Six years of grinding away for "overnight success." Another great example of process over event.

The game generated $233M in March alone across all platforms. I'm eager to see April's numbers, as March was up 73% over February, before they even released Fortnite on iOS.
 
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ProcessPro

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AlexLegault

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Guilty..

A friend and coworker of mine recently (finally) got me to try out Fortnite, and I've gotta say, it is terribly fun and can be addicting at times.

The first week I played Fortnite, I must've spent like 4 hours a day playing it. It's that good (surprisingly).

What I like about it is the survival aspect of it and the communication between your friends and teammates to join together and form a plan/strategy to survive.

Another thing that makes the game addicting (IMO) is that you're always progressing and increasing your skills by either getting better at either killing, building or both. That's what makes it feel so rewarding even though you're really just twiddling your thumbs or pounding away at a keyboard and mouse.

Good article though! It's interesting how more and more games are giving a taste of the game for free first in order to get you hooked and then want more.
 
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AlexLegault

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They also do this in games like Rocket League (basically a soccer game but with cars) where you buy the game, play it, and then if you want you can buy "crates" which allows players to completely customize their cars and show off to other players.

Interesting how we care about how we're perceived in the online world too.. lol
 
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ApparentHorizon

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The number one fortnite player, Ninja, called it a free to play game that doesn't feel free to play.

(Fyi. these top streamers make millions)

Most games let you know you're only getting half of the total experience. And they flood you with spam to upgrade. Inevitably alienating a large percent of their potential player base.

Games where you pay to win...IE you pay real money to get better stats, rely on "whales" to make the bulk of their revenue. This is a small subset of their players who spend thousands within the game.

Another important aspect of Fortnite's success is accessibility.

You've heard of World of Warcraft, and perhaps League of Legends.

All of these games are accessible on non gaming computers. Including laptops, and now even phones are powerful enough to run them!

The games are "sharable" in that all demographics can enjoy it.
  • Young kids can watch streamers because it's non-violent and non-offensive.
  • Teens can play because there's a social aspect, as well as competitiveness.
  • Adults can play with their kids because its easy to get into.
Every game is sharable. But not every game is sharable with 10 year olds, 16 year and 50 year olds at the same time. (Also why Nintendo is so popular)

And the fact that celebrities like Drake and Post Malone play live on Twitch doesn't hurt either.

In fact, Drake playing with Ninja is a monumental turning point. This is gaming finally breaking into the mainstream. Into the final frontier of society.

The gaming industry surpassed the movie industry long ago.

But now even the popular girl in your class, who only cares about makeup and cheerleading, is hopping on for a round of FortniteBR
 
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lowtek

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I play the competitor, Player Unknown's Battlegrounds. Got it as a gift from a long time friend, around new years.

It's not as polished, but the gameplay is insanely addictive. The developers are masters of monetizing beyond game sales. The loot crate system is essentially gambling. You play, get points, get loot crates, and some of them require a $1.50 key to open ( never bought one ).

5 months ago, people were paying $1400 for a digital leather coat on the Steam market. I think it's down to $150 now, but good grief. You can get a nice real leather coat for that.
 

Roli

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Bearcorp

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Never played it but have seen it all over social media. Like a lot.
Either its highly shareable or they have some great stealth marketing.
I could be wrong but I think Drake randomly playing it a little while back got it a lot of social media attention, its everywhere now!
 

MJ DeMarco

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The games are "sharable" in that all demographics can enjoy it.
Infiltrate one in the social group and within a week, all of them will be playing.

It really feels similar to how a drug dealer infiltrates a school and gets everyone addicted. Sell to one kid, and soon the entire social group will be subject to taking part.
 

Sagemoney

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I admire TenCent,

These guys have the mobile gaming and micro-transaction business on lock-down. Although I'm not very fond of the psychological tactics used by many games now to lure you in. I expect legislation will come soon once the effects on children become more apparent.

As for the game I played it briefly for about a month(right before I read TMF), and stopped after realizing the game has a very smooth way of milking you out of money for micro-transactions. They basically price all the "cool" cosmetic items slightly out of reach of the first price tier.

The first tier is 9.99 for 1000 "v-bucks" This grants you access to items like dances and pickaxes

But for every other item the prices range from 1200-2500 vbucks and the 2nd tier is 24.99 for 2800 v-bucks. While the allure of this initially seems easy to avoid, start playing with friends who buy items and you'll find yourself slipping into the rabbit hole. What Fortnite does well is use social pressure as hook, they start you off with a character who has bland clothing and is randomized at the beginning of every round, So you have no choice between being a man/woman/black/white/asian etc. until you buy that first outfit.

Now here's the sinker...The outfits for the game are only purchasable for a 24 hours to a week. So if you want a character that looks like you and see him in the store that day you just have to purchase him now! Eventually you'll see your friends getting characters and dances and "well it's only 25 bucks! who cares!" comes sooner than you think.
 

ApparentHorizon

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Infiltrate one in the social group and within a week, all of them will be playing.

It really feels similar to how a drug dealer infiltrates a school and gets everyone addicted. Sell to one kid, and soon the entire social group will be subject to taking part.
Not just one person, but they key influencer at the top of the pyramid.

Straight out of the Hierarchy of Influence: Gatekeeping

I admire TenCent,

These guys have the mobile gaming and micro-transaction business on lock-down. Although I'm not very fond of the psychological tactics used by many games now to lure you in. I expect legislation will come soon once the effects on children become more apparent.

As for the game I played it briefly for about a month(right before I read TMF), and stopped after realizing the game has a very smooth way of milking you out of money for micro-transactions. They basically price all the "cool" cosmetic items slightly out of reach of the first price tier.

The first tier is 9.99 for 1000 "v-bucks" This grants you access to items like dances and pickaxes

But for every other item the prices range from 1200-2500 vbucks and the 2nd tier is 24.99 for 2800 v-bucks. While the allure of this initially seems easy to avoid, start playing with friends who buy items and you'll find yourself slipping into the rabbit hole. What Fortnite does well is use social pressure as hook, they start you off with a character who has bland clothing and is randomized at the beginning of every round, So you have no choice between being a man/woman/black/white/asian etc. until you buy that first outfit.

Now here's the sinker...The outfits for the game are only purchasable for a 24 hours to a week. So if you want a character that looks like you and see him in the store that day you just have to purchase him now! Eventually you'll see your friends getting characters and dances and "well it's only 25 bucks! who cares!" comes sooner than you think.
And this is just scratching the surface. Soon AI will push every button you never knew you had.

Even if we know how advertising methods work, we still get that impulse to buy that pair of new kicks. We still grab that pack of gum at the checkout.

This is just from known psychology methods developed by people like Bernays and Ogilvy.

Now we don't even know what's going on. Google barely has a handle on their ranking algorithm with their AI black box.

Imagine that applied to your spending habits with the intent of maximizing resource extraction. Your time. Your money. Your sanity...

 

MJ DeMarco

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Not just one person, but they key influencer at the top of the pyramid.

Where did you find that?

Is that an internal document? I find it hard to believe that a corporation would publically admit "social engineering" "psychological manipulation tactics" and "bait and switching." -- but it does demonstrate the psychological warfare that's going on here.

It very much parallels the massive @SinisterLex thread on guru psychological tactics.
 

ApparentHorizon

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Where did you find that?

Is that an internal document? I find it hard to believe that a corporation would publically admit "social engineering" "psychological manipulation tactics" and "bait and switching." -- but it does demonstrate the psychological warfare that's going on here.

It very much parallels the massive @SinisterLex thread on guru psychological tactics.
It was leaked at the beginning of this year.

Full slide deck:
Leaked AI-powered Game Revenue Model Paper Foretells a Dystopian Nightmare

There's some speculation of it being fake, but there no reason to doubt this type of monetization isn't being considered. Given how much gaming companies are crossing the line with things like Loot Boxes. Aka, gambling for kids.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Given how much gaming companies are crossing the line with things like Loot Boxes. Aka, gambling for kids.
And how much you want to bet that the FIRST time someone buys a "loot box" that the value is skewed very high so the gamer goes, "Oh wow, that was fun! And worth it!"

Reminds me of gambling websites that are programmed to always make you win under their free version. But as soon as you pay up and gamble real money, the real odds take over.
 

Late Bloomer

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What's within reach as usable lessons for Fastlaners:

Epic made a demo and showed it to gauge potential interest, before they produced the full game. They could have walked away at any point. "As the game was at its very preliminary stages at the VGA reveal, the goal of this reveal was to seek public interest in the title and potential publishing partners as to decide on the game's release platforms and timeframe."

They initially targeted the environment where they could keep control, and no other company could tell them NO. "They further opted for personal computer exclusivity to avoid the difficulty of having to go through console certification." This is a huge lesson for those who are doing apps that could be totally killed by whim of one person at Apple and one person at Google.

They got help from someone who'd succeeded at an emerging business model in the industry. "To help with this transition, the company brought in Tencent who had several games operating under this model."

They tested a preliminary version in the market. "To help support development and get player feedback, Epic used a series of closed alpha test periods. Epic said the first alpha was designed to help it "make sure all of our basic systems are working" and establish "a baseline for how people play in order to make Fortnite better.""

They didn't try to have multiple product launches at once. "As Paragon seemed to take Epic's focus, leaving little news about Fortnite, CEO Tim Sweeney said in March 2016 that they were still committed to Fortnite once Paragon was launched and established, given that much of the work on Fortnite would take time to get the right balance for gameplay. "We figure we should start with one major successful launch and do one at a time. Fortnite will be next.""

When they saw which product was the one the market chose as the hit, they shut down their own internal competition: "By the end of January 2018, Epic announced it was shutting down Paragon by April of that year, providing refunds to all players."

They let people know what to expect going forward: "the company has since improved communications with the player base, such as providing development road maps and known bug lists."

What's out of reach of most Fastlaners without many, many millions of dollars available for a payback period of many, many years:

"co-developed by the Polish studio People Can Fly, which had worked with Epic previously on earlier games, and had been fully acquired by Epic sometime in 2012. People Can Fly were briefly renamed Epic Games Poland in 2013 as to align with Epic's other studios. By March 2014, there were about 90 developers working on the game."

"As part of this agreement, Tencent bought a significant share of ownership in Epic Games through stock acquisition around June 2012."

"Approximately 50,000 players participated in these [beta test] periods."

"The lengthy period since the game's alpha phases was ascribed to developing Fortnite as a games-as-a-service model, according to creative lead Donald Mustard. While the game had been in a playable state for the two years before this, Epic wanted to be able to develop ongoing content to players to keep them interested."

I suspect MOST forum members could not afford 500 man-years of development and 50,000 beta test users, before charging any money for their software!
 

Roli

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[QUOTE="Sagemoney, post: 691606, member: 55155"
As for the game I played it briefly for about a month(right before I read TMF), and stopped after realizing the game has a very smooth way of milking you out of money for micro-transactions.[/QUOTE]

... and of course, milking you for your precious time.
 

ay47

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It's exactly like psychological manipulation. It's called a Skinner Box. The conclusion of the Skinner Box study: the mouse in the box is most likely to continue hitting the lever if the reward, food, was randomized.

Loot boxes in video games work exactly like this.

There's also the added element of "investment". You can invest your time and earn those loot boxes. Or spend real money to buy more loot boxes. So there's the fulfilment of ego portion.

Source: took a course on monetizing video games. This is like 101.
 
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Late Bloomer

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I admire TenCent,

These guys have the mobile gaming and micro-transaction business on lock-down.....
I haven't played the game myself, thanks a lot for explaining how the company turns hype into cash flow!

Was the point of the thread only to see if forum members are playing, not to look for business lessons Fastlaners can apply? I seem to be the only one who took it that way.
 
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