Epic Games has used 2020 to expand Fortnite beyond its battle royale roots into a full-fledged social space.
Several pop culture events and collaborations have accelerated the shift, introducing the game to new audiences. To date, more than 350 million people have played Fortnite since it launched in July 2017.
- Rapper Travis Scott held an in-game concert in April that drew more than 12 million players.
- Marvel Comics launched a new storyline for the Marvel Universe in Fortnite this fall, bringing characters like Iron Man and Thor into the game.
- Batman, Star Wars and John Wick are some of the other movie franchises to hold events in Fortnite.
- Disney recently offered two free months of Disney+ to eligible Fortnite players who buy in-game items.
Even traditional sports are doubling down: The NFL is expanding its partnership with Epic Games from 2018, providing more integration into Fortnite as well as themed content for Rocket League, another game developed by Epic.
An epic year: In August, the company announced it raised $1.78 billion in new funding, valuing it at $17.3 billion. Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper was among the new investors in the round.