Today, the trial between Epic and Apple finally began after nearly nine months of legal filings and pre-trial hearings. During the court proceedings, new documents surfaced providing more data on how these companies operate. For example, we now know that Fortnite made $US9,165,000,000 ($11,814,601,500) in two years.
That huge number comes from a financial board presentation report that Epic created in January 2020. In this document, Epic stated Fortnite made just over $US5.4 ($7) billion dollars in 2018. The following year, the popular battle royale game pulled in $US3.7 ($5) billion.
Some points of comparison to show how big this number is: Micorosft spent just $US7.5 ($10) billion to buy all of Bethesda earlier this year. Disney paid $US4 ($5) billion for all of Star Wars and Lucasfilm. Fortnite made more than that in 2018 alone.
Meanwhile, other parts of Epic made far, far less money in those same years. In 2018 and 2019 combined, Epic’s game engine, Unreal, brought in $US221 ($285) million in revenue, and the Epic Games Store brought in $US235 ($303) million in revenue.
However, revenue isn’t the full story. How much Epic actually profited from all of this is less clear and isn’t shown in these financial documents.
It’s evident from other court filings that Epic is losing a lot of money on investments, including building up the Epic Game Store. In previous court documents from April 2020, Apple estimates that Epic will lose around $US330 ($425) million by the end of this year after scooping up tons of Epic Store exclusives.
Tim Sweeny was oddly excited in April about losing all that money, and it makes sense how Epic can toss all that cash at the Epic Game Store and not be too worried as Fortnite makes it billions of dollars a year. And Epic doesn’t expect this to change. In that financial board presentation from January 2020, Epic forecasted Fortnite would bring in another $US2.7 ($3) billion.
Until more documents regarding 2020 become public, we won’t know if that forecast came to fruition. Though based on 2018 and 2019, in addition to a global pandemic that forced people to stay home and play video games, it seems likely Fortnite raked in a few more billion last year.