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Home / Technology / Fortnite phenomenon becomes epic game developer to billionaire | Work and money

Fortnite phenomenon becomes epic game developer to billionaire | Work and money

Tim Sweeney made Fortnite a phenomenon of doing something that sounds crazy. He gave it away.

This strategy has made him a billionaire.

In an industry shock-a-block with monster hits, such as Candy Crush and Pokemon Go, Fortnite popularity is not surprising. Its revenue is. Between the release of the current version in September and the end of May, Fortnite brought in more than $ 1.2 billion, according to SuperData Research. From the beginning of June it has been played by 125 million people.

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It's revenue growth at Epic Games, the company Sweeney created in the parents' basement 27 years ago. Fortnite alone is on track to generate $ 2 billion this year, making Cary, North Carolina-based gamemaker worth $ 5 billion to $ 8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Sweeney, 47, is the controlling shareholder.

Fortnite is a global phenomenon played obsessively by children, rappers, professional athletes and middle aged accountants. It's a cartoon-like, last characteristic battle-to-death-match royal where players battle each other in a battle for weapons, resources and survival on a shrinking, big-city island.

Instead of shelling in addition to $ 40 for the game, players purchase online V-bucks, a virtual currency they can trade during game for outfits, called skins, celebrating dances or special quests that can cost as much as $ 20 each .

"On the revenue side, you've done something very unique that has come up with an opinion of exclusivity," said Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities. Many accessories in the Fortnite store are available in a limited manner, which allows players to buy before sought after items disappear from virtual shelves.

"If you see another player in a leopard skin and go to the store and no longer see it, you think," Shoot, I have to move on it next time." "

" All of this trade accounts for some of the highest per capita income per user in industry and operating margins north of 50 percent, according to analysts.

"Epic's appreciation has exploded with Fortnite's success," said Timothy O & # 39; Shea, which covers games at the Jefferies Financial Group.

Based on trading partners of the Contemporary Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard, Epic could be worth as much as $ 14 billion, although potential buyers would demand a discount due to questions Whether or not Fortnite could maintain revenue growth, O & # 39; Shea said.

Although sales should fall to $ 1 billion a year – half of today's estimate tea company could still afford to commence $ 7.5 billion in sales, said Pachter.

It's a sweep for Sweeney and Chinese internet behemoth Tencent Holdings, who bought 40 percent of Epic in 2012 at a value of $ 825 million. It's still unclear rest Know the impact Fortnite has had on Tencent's balance sheet. Three analysts covering the Shenzen-based company said they had not yet entered the game in their sum-of-the-party valuations.

While most games hit top popularity shortly after launch, Fortnite still took millions of new users for six months, thanks to a wide appealing aesthetics that is more cartoon than graphic violence. Celebrity fans like rapper Drake and Los Angeles Lakers "Josh Hart has pushed it further into common consciousness. French football star Antoine Griezmann celebrated a goal in the World Cup final this month by performing the game's Take-the-L dance.

As a game that is social, easy to play and hard to master, there has been a special hit with school-age children, claiming concerns from teachers and parents reporting obsessive play during class.

Fortnite is no bolt from the blue for Epic. The developer's biggest previous hit was Gears of War, a best-selling Microsoft Xbox 360 franchise. Epic also owns the Unreal Engine, one of two used operating systems based on development systems, relying on building games.

Initially, epic customers took advantage of the software. The sale took off when Sweeney made the product for free and instead began collecting a royalty on sales from games made using the software, which included such hits as Mass Effect and Batman: Arkham.

Fortnite also started as a paid product. Launched in July 2017 as a $ 40 version where players built fast to defend themselves against zombie hordes, the game really took off after Epic made it free and put the multi-combatant style into play.

Its success even surprised Epic. In last year's E3, the industry's major fair show, Epic showed a few reporter games hidden in a meeting room. At this year's convention, the Epic cabin was completely dedicated to Fortnite, with a copy of the bus that players enter at the beginning of the game and opportunities for fans to star in videos dancing and swinging.

That week, Epic became his first Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am with guests as comedian Joel McHale and professional gamer Ninja (real name Tyler Blevins) competing in a football stadium. In May, Epic announced that it would provide $ 100 million to finance prize money for Fortnite competitions.

At Epic's office, located in a Raleigh, North Carolina, suburb around the corner from a mall, employees have the opportunity to choose free ice and hoods. There is a game room, a slide between two floors and giant sculptures of some of the company's video game ratings.

Growed in the suburb of Potomac, Maryland, Sweeney showed early game design and business. At 11 o'clock he learned to program using the family's Apple computer and did a hobby about dissecting electronics. [1565] He finished his job at a hardware store after he noticed that everyone was doing the same hourly salary no matter how hard they worked. Instead, he borrowed his father's tractor and began to trim the neighbor's lawns, undermining professional landscapers, according to an interview in 2011 with the Kotaku gaming website.

Sweeney started designing their own games at the age of 21, packing them on floppy disks and sending them through the mail.

"Tim Sweeney is a legendary character," said Joost van Dreunen, CEO of SuperData Research Holdings, which provides market intelligence about the gaming industry. "He is a hard-working, pronounced person with a clear vision of what he will do."

Despite the captivating millions of players, Sweeney is not much of a player himself. He is an avid conservationist and one of the largest private landowners in North Carolina. After the financial crisis he bought thousands of hectares, mainly in the mountains, with the aim of creating nature reserves.

Sweeney often walks the Epic office and leaves large soda cups in his jaw. He favors a self-composed of 60 percent water and 40 percent Diet Coke from the company's fountains.

In a 10 year old video posted online, Sweeney gives a tour of her sprawling home. The lifelong bachelor says he had never eaten in the elegant dining room and preferred Burger King takeaway. He once owned several sports cars, including a Lamborghini, but he sold most of them. He runs a 2019 Corvette.

"Getting a fast car is an excellent hobby when you're a workforce, because even when you do not have free time you can always go to work," he said. 19659032]
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