Fortnite Localisation Strategy
Fortnite is a popular MMO game developed by the company Epic Games. The company has previously launched popular video games such as Gears of War, Unreal Tournament, and Infinity Blade.
Currently, Fortnite is available in three distinct modes, namely Fortnite: Save the World, Fortnite: Battle Royale, and Fortnite Creative.
- Fortnite: Save the World is a survival game. The concept is that a zombie apocalypse has taken place and the players have to survive in the post-apocalyptic world, fighting off zombie-like creatures while defending objects with fortifications. It is a cooperative game for up to four people and also a shooter-survival game.
- Fortnite: Battle Royale is a free-to-play game that supports up to 100 players and the last person standing wins.
- In Fortnite Creative, the players are given the freedom to create their own worlds and battle arenas.
Epic Games released Fortnite Save the World and Battle Royale from their Unreal 4 game engine in 2017. Fornite creative was released in 2018. The sale for the first quarter of 2020 was a record USD 10.86 billion, showing an increase of 9% from the last year’s first quarter and was highest in the USA.
Fortnite: battle royale became more successful as an MMO game and boasts 350 million players from all over the world. When it was launched in 2017, by the end of the month, they sold half a million copies, and by next month, the player count doubled to a million. It had an excellent kickstart, and the growth is not going to slow down anytime soon as the number of registered players now is 350 million, which is more than the population of Russia. By 2018, it became ‘the most played Switch game’ in Europe.
The games were launched on different platforms such as Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Android, IoS, Windows, and Mac. Every other combination of cross-platform play is possible, a rare feat in the world of video games. The mobile launch and free-to-play access made it more widespread. As of 2020, the current revenue from mobile devices is USD 44 million.
Seeing the growth of the game, it is evident that it has penetrated the gaming market all over the world. So did they localized their game for each region to be this successful?
Fortnite’s Localization Strategy
Epic Games realised that now, being an international phenomenon, they would have to indulge in a rather heavy Localisation strategy in order to capture the rest of the market, and that’s exactly what they did! According to the official website, Fortnite is available in 12 languages:
- Portuguese (Brazil)
- Spanish (Latin America, Spain)
They plan on releasing the game in many more languages soon!
Partnering Up with the local Firms
Fortnite was also planning to launch into the highest revenue generating country in the gaming industry, i.e. China. They partnered with the local firm Tencent, (obeying the rather strict Chinese law which ensures that any company that wants to enter the Chinese Market must do so in partnership with a Chinese Firm) with Tencent commanding 40% of the share. They knew about the competition they would face from PUBG, a game with a similar concept(read our article on PUBG here: https://medium.com/@locnapps14/how-pubg-leveraged-the-indian-market-98c04a8c6614), and had to figure out a way to do something about it.
Nevertheless, in 2018, Fortnite got banned by the Chinese government on the grounds that it showcased violence. Not only China, but Jordan and Iran have also banned the app citing similar reasons. Despite the game not using the concept of blood or even mentioning the word “kill” in their game, Fortnite was still deemed to be “too violent” in some countries.
“We expect a range of ping improvements from 20–50% for many players across the Southern Middle East (i.e. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain), as well as India”.
Even though Epic Games India hasn’t revealed their numbers, they claim that Quality of Gameplay is improving by the day and so are the number of players. They also cited the reason for the late launch. They had to take the current SEA sub region servers offline. Now, their Middle Eastern region is hosted by their cloud computing partners in Mumbai, India.
In 2020, Fortnite also partnered with OnePlus, a Chinese mobile phone company, and announced that they would customize their game for the OnePlus 8 and 8 plus phones.
Fortnite also held International gaming tournaments worldwide in 2019 where over 40 million players participated from over 200 countries to compete for $30 million Fortnite World Cup Solo and Duos Finals, $3 million Creative Finals, and $3 million Charity Pro-Am. This move also piqued the interest of people from all around the world. Numerous tuned into the streaming sites such as Youtube and Twitch.
Leveraging New-Age Content Mediums
Youtube and Twitch also became popular mediums to reach the local audience. Many streamers would live-stream the game in their languages bringing in more players. The USA has the most significant share of almost 41% when Ninja (a popular gaming streamer) played alongside rappers such as Drake and Travis Scott, the video trended in the top four in the USA.
By Pooja Srivastava