Fortnite is already one of the biggest games in the world after months of astronomical growth, but growth rates start to slow down, according to research company SuperData. Of course, that's not to say that the battle royal shooter did not do thriving business in July.
"The players spent $ 8.2 billion on digital games in July [worldwide] up 3 percent from the same month last year," says SuperData report. "The growth was mainly from the console again due to Fortnite and rising full game download prices. Premium PC was the weakest segment this month, 14 percent lower than the year before."
Fortnite was also the top qualifier game digitally on consoles and No. 5 on PC, according to SuperData.
So what's the problem? As SuperData points out, Fortnite had a new battleground in July, but revenues did not grow the way they did the last time when it launched one of these premiums.
"Fortnite's peak can be behind us," reads SuperData report. "Fortnite revenue is only 2 per cent from June. The growth was the message despite the developer's epic game that released season 5 of the match's combat match mid-month."
None of this should indicate that Fortnite fails. The game made $ 318 million across all platforms in May, according to a SuperData estimate. It is big. And it looks like it has done around the same amount in June and July as well. The research firm points out that growth from June to July is much smaller than it was from March to April and then April to May.
And it is possible that Fortnite's unprecedented growth is behind it, but I doubt it for a big reason: Christmas.
Fortnite is the largest free game on consoles ever. It continues to run sales of gamepads, headsets, currency cards and probably consoles themselves. No free-to-play games on consoles have ever had such a strong impact on all of these product categories.
And the thing about free games games is that people tend to get into them more when they have a good reason. On mobile, people spend more time and money on games when they get a new device. It has made Christmas the year's biggest day for mobile games because people open their new iPhones or tablets and then urge the App Store to put their shiny new devices through their steps with a dozen games or so.
For many years, mobile game developers have used the Christmas Hill with updates and events scheduled for that holiday. It has had falling returns over the years, as more developers amount to the space.
But Fortnite is in a far less crowded market and it's a cultural feeling with children, as the audience will most likely open a new console in December 25. All Epic must make the time a big new Battle Pass and event for it the day and it may end up playing on a mobile game console.
Consoles do not have the same general gift appeal as smartphones do it of course. A new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 come together once every couple of years at this point. But players do not need to get a new system for the Christmas Day effect to happen. A new headset, gamepad or TV can perform the same. And a new keyboard or mouse can do the same for PC. Epic can even collaborate with partners to set new themesets, controls, bundles and currency cards in the stores to coincide with a vacation event as well.
Since Christmas Day, people will find reasons to boot their consoles, PCs and smartphones, and Epic can see a big spike in growth if it gives all these people an additional reason to start the game.