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The Rise of Fortnite & Kids Influence in Marketing

Gamer Centered Entertainment 

Is Fortnite On The Way Out?  

Worse. Is it shutting down?

Some say that "Fortnite" is yesterday's news.

No, it's not a misspelling of your two-week fortnight. FORTNITE is one of the most lucrative video games on the planet. 

With more than 450 million users worldwide its size is equivalent to that of Twitter.

Is Fortnite on the way out?

Let’s dive in and find out.

At least according to statistics from Business of Apps. Today, 2 out of 3 Fortnite weekly players aged 10 years old to 17 years old say that Fortnite is on the way up. It's one of their favorite brands, behind only Netflix and YouTube.

is fortnite dying?

There is no sign its momentum is slowing. Perhaps Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, said it best: “We compete (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO”.

Fortnite came out in 2017. It took the world of video gaming by storm. 

Since then, "Battle Royale" has become one of the most popular video game genres. More and more games offer this showdown game mechanic every year.

. You can even play a live-action version now.

Tweens Are In "Brand Love" With Fortnite

Step aside OREO (the yummy treat), YouTube is now the most popular band amongst kids. 

In their annual survey of 8,100+ children from North America, consultancy firm Smarty Pants has rated popular brands. Digital juggernaut YouTube is the most popular brand for children aged 6-12 with a "Kidfinity" score of 917 out of a possible 1,000.

The survey called "Brand Love" discovered that digital content was chipping away at traditional creativity and play, with beloved Crayola and LEGO brands losing 20 and 15 points, respectively. Among the 350 brands in the study, FORTNITE, posted the largest year-on-year gain (+66 points) to become #89.

This finding is not unique.

A survey of 1,500 people in North America by the National Research Group discovered that Fornite is offering brands access to young audiences who watch less traditional TV. Fortnite is changing the way consumers and brands interact. 

It is opening up new opportunities for live experiences. They found that two in three tweens say they are playing more Fortnite this year than they did last year. "Our research deconstructs the Fortnite phenomenon - a universe full of interesting paradoxes: it's a competitive game that fosters deep community; it's an immersive experience centered around lasting social connection; it’s a playground to be anybody, yet it’s where we can be our true authentic selves. With polarization and divisiveness seemingly defining our culture, Fortnite presents a more hopeful meta-verse where community, inclusivity, creativity and authentic relationships can thrive,” says Jon Penn, CEO, NRG.

Putting A Rocket Under Fortnite

Not surprisingly Fortnite is a brand force to be reckoned with. 

In 2018, the Fortnite brand's debut in the "Brand Love" study pegged it at #199. The video game was particularly popular among boys. It was number #76 with boys in its first year.

In the 2019 report, Fortnite posted the largest annual gain. Fortnite moved up 113 places rising to #86. And it has continued its popularity among boys rising to an impressive #33. 

The study has a number of attributes that they rate brands on. One of these attributes is "social". Fortnite is one of the top-rating brands on this metric. 

"The way the kids are playing Fortnite in duos, quads, and squads they are connected with friends while they play. They are virtually connected because they are not actually in the same room, even in the same city, necessarily," said Michelle Poris from Smarty Pants. 

"All of that has really fed into the Fortnite craze. What's happened is that kids, with or without their families, spend time doing Fortnite instead of the other things they have traditionally spent their time doing. The more time they spend on Fortnite, the less time they spend watching TV, playing board games, or watching movies. So that time away from more historical activities is really impacting how we need to communicate with kids," said Ms Poris.

Marketing to Mums expert, Katrina McCarter agrees: "Fortnite is a video game that is very very popular for boys aged 9 through to 16. When my son is not actually playing the game, he is watching YouTube videos on how to play it better." 

Fortnite & Marketing Opportunities 

The rise and rise of the popularity of Fortnite have created new marketing opportunities.

Hasbro has just launched a new collection of NERF Fortnite guns. This new wave of foam blasters and weapons has been inspired by Epic Games’ video game including targeting sets and a harvesting tool like the ones players use in the digital world. You can even get Llama targets! 

Battlefield Sports has created a live game that is inspired by the famous video game Fortnite where the gaming area shrinks over time and the players can access in-game perks at supply crates. To find out more about this live game "Battle Royale" click here. 

The research group surveyed a total of 16,363 children and parents during their May to June 2019 assessment of 350 consumer brands. The Smarty Pants group syndicates research talks about trends, and shares opinions about the child, tween, teen and family marketing, and youth culture. Kidfinity™ is a composite measure that aggregates kids' brand awareness, love, and popularity.

The research team has discovered the growing influence children have in family decision-making. They found the line between entertainment and shopping in the minds of kids has blurred. 

For laser tag marketers the influence of Fortnite and other virtual games will continue to impact the industry. 

The Biggest Game of the Decade?

Kevin Webb from Business Insider believes the "FORTNITE" is the most important video game of this decade.

Such is its magnetism, Webb says, that a star "Fortnite" player made the cover of ESPN The Magazine. 

The game also made "Time's" list of 100 most influential people. Musicians and actors have filmed themselves playing Fortnite. 

The game even had a cameo in "Avengers: Endgame," the biggest superhero movie of all time. Fortnite continues to evolve with brand collaborations, like Baby Yoda (Grogu) from Star Wars Mandalorian. And Fortnite keeps reinventing itself. For example, they've just announced a new collab with Star Wars! They also have created collabs with Master Chief from Halo.

The game Fortnite is a great example of the technology of convergence, of cross-platform compatibility.

With games nowadays are being played on smartphones, gaming consoles, traditional computers and live. Fortnite stays fresh for gamers by delivering new "seasons." Each season has new game maps, new customizable items, and special events. This mint content challenges to unlock customizable gear. 

Better still thrilling tournaments have fired up the player base.

fortnite & star wars collab

Pandemic Disruption

The last few years have seen massive disruption for brands. 

The Brandt 2021 report states: “The last year has been a turbulent time for every brand, with a constant barrage of unexpected issues and changes. But in this report, we took the chance to highlight the brands that managed the crisis, weathered the storm, and came out with innovative and much loved marketing ideas.”

“Hopefully, we’re turning a corner and there’s a chance for normality to return, whatever that entails. Every brand has a chance to come out of this running, connecting with consumers like never before.”

“This is a chance to rethink, re-strategize, and rebuild all our brands into loved brands, and that opportunity starts now.”

The Most Popular Battle Royale Game

According to ActivePlayer, Fortnite saw an average of 233 million monthly players in the last 30 days (April 2023).

So to answer the question: "Is Fortnite Dying?" the short answer is, no way! 

Fortnite and the game format Battle Royale are going strong! 

the most popular battle royale game

 In conclusion, Battlefield Operators can leverage the video game's success with their live-action version.

SOURCE: Smarty Pants research see https://www.asksmartypants.com/

SOURCE: Marketing to Mums see https://marketingtomums.com.au/podcast/

SOURCE: https://activeplayer.io/fortnite/

SOURCE: NRG Fortnite White Paper see https://www.nationalresearchgroup.com/news/fortnite-the-new-social-media

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