After what has been a landmark week for Epic Games Fortnite, which has seen the ‘end of the world’ come and a brand new Chapter 2 map and update released on Tuesday. The new update not only featured a new map with new gaming zones, but also added new gameplay elements, skins and also an updated interface.
However, as yet, there was no evidence that integration of cryptocurrency was coming to the game, although there are many that feel it is only a matter of time before it does.
Why Fortnite will likely turn to Crypto eventually
Given that Fortnite is free to download and play, the way that makers Epic Games make money from their title is through microtransactions in the game. However, the term ‘microtransaction’ is something of a misnomer, given that in 2018, Epic made $2.4 billion from these in game purchases alone.
That is understandable when you learn that Fortnite has around 250 million total players (as of Spring 2019). Many of those players are now asking when Fortnite will bite the bullet and move away from more traditional payment methods and into the realm of cryptocurrency.
Part of the issue is that cryptocurrency is already part of the Fortnite market, although it is being used primarily as a means to bet on the outcome of Fortnite matches. The popularisation of Fortnite has led to the development of large-scale tournaments, such as the recent Fortnite World Cup, which saw $33 million in prize money awarded.
With such a huge tournament, comes huge interest and the fact that interested parties want to bet on the outcome of games in the tournament. Sites like Unikrn offer punters a chance to do this, not just using traditional esports betting methods but also via cryptocurrency too. Specifically, the UnikoinGold token, which can be used to bet on Fortnite matches, or even wagered on your own in-game matches.
The Monero Mistake
It is also worth remembering that an error earlier in 2019 saw customers able to purchase official Fortnite merchandise and products through the Epic store using the cryptocurrency Monero.
The problem with this was that Epic Games did not actually intend to offer Monero as a form of currency with which you could pay for items and when they realised their mistake, they withdrew the cryptocurrency from being supported in their store.
As CEO Tim Sweeney revealed in a Tweet at the time:
“Actually, Fortnite’s brief foray into crypto was accidental. We worked with a partner to open a merchandise store, and somewhere along the way the Monero payment was enabled.”
This may have been an error, but you can still purchase Fortnite’s in game currency, V-Bucks through a number of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Etherium and Dogecoin, although you have to go via a third party source, Bitrefill, and then use a series of codes in order to do so.
Partnership with The Abyss
At the time, Epic Tweeted that while the company was interested in cryptocurrency, it “doesn’t have any cryptocurrency partners and aren’t in any cryptocurrency discussions with anyone”. That changed however later in the year.
Epic signed a deal with The Abyss, a blockchain gaming platform where Abyss Tokens, the sites own crypto, can be used to purchase both games and in-game purchases.
Given the vast amount of money Fortnite generates, chiefly through transactions which could be easily adapted to blockchain technology, it seems it is only a matter of time before crypto comes to Fortnite.