Fortnite has taken the world by storm; since its launch, over 125 million people have played the popular game. That’s more than the total number of PS4 and Nintendo Switch players combined. Fortnite’s free-to-play nature and its availability on almost all platforms have helped the game become a cultural phenomenon. Being a free-to-play game, the main sources of revenue for Fortnite are its in-game purchases. Fortnite has a virtual in-game currency called V-Bucks, which can be used to purchase several items in the game. V-Bucks can be either obtained as you earn them while playing the game (at a very slow rate), or by purchasing them via actual money.
Let’s imagine you are Mike — an accomplished Fortnite player. You play the game for months and months, without any desire for in-game items. As you play, your V-Bucks stack grows and grows. One day you wake up, play the Battle Royale on a Sunday morning after a good night’s sleep, and notice that you can finally afford a skin for your character on the game. “Great! I’ll buy it and see how it goes”, you tell yourself.
Days pass by, and you really love this new skin. It’s far more futuristic and unique than your previous outfit. You have your own thing going, and you can't see your character going back to its old mediocre look. This new look just has its own persona, but after a few weeks, it becomes the norm again. You quickly grow tired of your new skin but haven’t earned enough V-Bucks to make another purchase.
Seeking out a new look for your character, you start to consider buying some V-Bucks. Earning them by playing the game is just too slow to satisfy that craving you have to express yourself, so you decide that it’s time to throw a few bucks at the game to buy that skin you wanted. When you go to the game to buy these V-Bucks, you notice something unfortunate… Fortnite doesn’t accept Cryptocurrencies as a payment method! Oh no! You had your ledger out and ready, your coins were withdrawn from the exchange, and those precious seed words memorized. All for nothing! You're now disappointed at Fortnite, Epic Games, and the gaming industry. Not to mention how many potential customers Fortnite could be losing because of their inflexibility in payment methods.
Now let’s imagine you’re Epic Games. You’ve created one of the biggest games of all time in terms of player base. Your game has become a cultural phenomenon. The dances of the game are even being used as goal celebrations in the World Cup final. It really doesn’t get bigger than this. However, you are still a business. Your aim is to make revenue and, since Fortnite is free-to-play, your revenue is limited to in-game purchases. At the moment, this is going well for you. In fact, according to this Business Insider article, you are making around $300m monthly in revenue, which is a remarkable number to imagine for the average Fortnite player. However, you are a smart corporation, and you realize that there's still opportunity to capture an even greater amount of player spend. Therefore, you need to capitalize on your current situation.
In order to do that, you can’t have people like Mike leave the game dissatisfied. When Mike decides to spend his money on those skins, you need to be ready to satisfy his demand for the payment method he prefers. Therefore, you decide to look further into implementing cryptocurrency payments in your game. You are looking for something that is easy to implement, as the game is cross-platform. During this search, you stumble upon OPEN Platform. You see a project promising games and applications the ability to accept crypto payments with only a few lines of code. Perfect! This is exactly what you're looking for. You start noticing some major attractions such as the low fees being charged by OPEN Platform (3%) as opposed to those charged by Play Stores and App Stores (Upwards of 30%). You dig deeper and you start seeing the possibilities with cryptocurrencies, such as no longer being required to handle sensitive customer data or ridiculous chargeback fees. For just a few lines of code, you're attacking a multi-billion Dollar market with low fees and almost zero cost on the initial investment. You keep Mike happy, while your successful video game increases its sources of revenue and simultaneously positions itself to thrive in a future that could be dominated by blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
This doesn’t just apply to Fortnite, but the entirety of the application and gaming industry. In 2017, total app spend reached $58.6 billion on the App Store and the Play store with mobile games industry contributing $48.3 billion, 82% of the total revenue. This recorded a 35% yearly growth over the revenue made in 2016 over the same platforms. The scenario mentioned above applies to all the apps and games that contribute to that revenue. All of their developers can, and most probably will find themselves in the same seat as Epic Games. In-game and in-app purchases provide huge amounts of revenue to developers and, as the adoption for cryptocurrencies increases, the need for developers to take them onboard increases with it.
Check out OPEN Platform’s website for more information on the project including the whitepaper, partners, and announcements: www.openfuture.io