Publisher Epic Games has made Fortnite the largest worldwide esport in terms of prize money; and by some distance, at that. The company announced that it will provide a huge $100mn to fund prizes for game tournaments during Fortnite’s first year of competition. The Maryland-based game designer has yet to provide details about competitive events as yet.
Funding dwarfs Dota 2
E-sports Earnings reports that the biggest prize pool in esports has so far been Valve’s Dota 2. The game paid out $38mn in prize money last year. The largest prize pool ever was The International 7 (aka Dota 2 Championship), also in 2017. Those working in esports will undoubtedly see the funding as positive news. There has been some impressive growth in this particular sector of gaming in recent years, and it’s been influential in the increased popularity of competitive mobile gaming. The firm points out that inclusivity has an important role to play in its huge contribution: it’s believed that mobile gaming events appeal to women more than those based on console or PC titles.
Whether the move will turn out to be a fruitful one for Epic Games remains to be seen. What we do know is that Fortnite has proved to be a winner for the games company’s place in the market so far, with more than 45 million players on board. A number of gaming firms felt the effects of Fortnite’s success earlier this year, such as Take two and Activision. And now it appears that Epic Games has decided to double down with its new funding record. Despite its effect upon direct competition, not all gaming companies are suffering, however. Companies in the iGaming sector, such as Mr Green, are consistently showing a strong performance. The online gaming firm, which operates in more than 10 countries, is currently trading at 48.2. Mr Green has shown an increase in gross opening profit and total assets for five years running. Right now, though, all eyes appear to be on Epic Games.
Funding stuns Wall Street
Veterans from both the technology sector and Wall Street have been left stunned at the funding outlay from Epic Games. Michael Pachter, a gaming analyst from Wedbush, said in an email that it speaks to the amount of money they must be making from the game. Bill Gurley, a venture capitalist from Benchmark, took to social media to describe the move as being big and bold. Bethany Lyone, an esports analyst from SuperData, also wrote an email, confirming that the funding is the biggest so far in the world of esports.
In September, Epic Games gave Fortnite a battle-royale mode on gaming consoles and computers. The mode allows for up to 10- web-based players to fight to their violent deaths until there is a single, lone survivor. The firm reported in January that over 45mn people have played the game worldwide. It also consistently ranks among Twitch’s most streamed games.