If you’re still not sure what the game Fortnite is all about, ask a passing 10 year-old. The action-shooter has become one of the biggest gaming crazes since Minecraft, with similar appeal to tween and teen gamers, as well as older players and Twitch / YouTube live-streamers.
Now Fortnite’s publisher, Epic Games, is making a big, nine-figure bet on the game’s popularity in the competitive-gaming world of esports.
“In the 2018 – 2019 season, Epic Games will provide $100,000,000 to fund prize pools for Fortnite competitions,” announced the company yesterday. “We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way, but our approach will be different – we plan to be more inclusive, and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game.”
There’s some good context for this in a tweet by esports expert Scott Smith following the announcement: he explained that in 2017, the top 10 games combined gave out $91.2m in prize money for esports tournaments.
One thing that’s unclear about Epic’s $100m is how much of it will be cash money, versus in-game currency (‘V-bucks’) that’s being counted as the equivalent of the dollars that would be required to buy it.