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Fortnite is starting to show signs of slowing down

Not even yet one year old, and still in early access, Fortnite: Battle Royale is already one of the biggest successes in the history of gaming. As of June 2018, 125 million people had played the free-to-play title. By July, it had made $1 billion in in-game purchases. It regularly dominates the Twitch charts; its most popular streamer, Ninja, can draw larger crowds than the next biggest game's entire viewership. If it keeps growing at this rate, it might just conquer the world.

Well, it turns out the world might be safe after all, because Fortnite is not continuing to grow at that rate. In fact, it might just be cresting its peak.

According to a new report by SuperData, Fortnite's revenue only grew a merely mortal 2% between June and July. By comparison, revenue grew by 7% the month prior, and a truly astonishing 33% the month before that. Remember, Fortnite was already making incredible money from its microtransactions, so to be earning this kind of growth on top of that is just astounding.

Yet with the much smaller growth in July, the rocket launch that was Epic's bottom line has finally crashed into a crack in the sky. Fortnite's rise has been so huge for so long, many people wondered where the ceiling could possibly be. Epic may well have just found out. But even if that's the case, remember: Fortnite is still raking in well over $300 million per month. And it is still growing, even if more slowly than before. You may cease your fiddle-playing for Epic any time.

Still, the North Carolina-based company has a few tricks up its sleeve. For one thing, the studio has finally released a beta for Fortnite on Android, at last bringing the game onto all modern gaming platforms. Epic co-founder Tim Sweeney estimates that of the 2.5 billion Android devices out there, 250 million are capable of running the cartoon shooter. While we don't expect that every last one of them will get Fortnite, it's a fair bet that a whole lot of them will. With the sudden influx of Android users buying Battle Passes, expect the game's revenue growth to boom yet again.

For bonus points, Epic won't even be splitting any of that windfall with Google, the maker of Android and its Google Play app store. Sweeney mentioned that the Mountain View giant takes a 30% cut of all money that goes through their service. But since Android is an open platform, in which any app can be installed from anywhere, Epic is able to let users download Fortnite directly without ever touching Google Play. That keeps all of the revenue in Epic's hands, denying Google an estimated $50 million through the rest of the year.

Apple, by contrast, continues to operate its massively successful iOS platform as a walled garden, i.e., nothing is allowed onto their devices except through their App Store. That forces games like Fortnite to split 30% of revenue with the Cupertino juggernaut, something that Sweeney finds unacceptable. Nevertheless, there's enough money to be made from iPhones and iPads that Epic swallows their pride. For now.

But once the Android rollout is complete, it's not clear where else Fortnite has to go. The continuing issues with cross-platform play on PlayStation 4 appear to mark the last missing link in the game's growth. Beyond that, Fortnite is already on every other platform, already popular enough that there's no new word-of-mouth to be spread, and already gobbling up players' limited time. It seems likely that Fortnite's peak is near. But what a peak it is, far beyond what any other game has achieved in so brief a time. Short of expanding to other dimensions, there's not much more they could do.

Oh wait. They did start doing that in Season 5. Don't be surprised if your next match is against mysterious Visitors from other threads of space and time. Who are all feeding into Epic's revenue stream.