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Epic Games turned a $3 billion profit this year

What do you get when you develop and publish the world's most talked-about game? According to TechCrunch, you get a few billion dollars in profit.

A source for TechCrunch told the site that Epic Games, the makers of the ever-popular Fortnite, racked up $3 billion in profit this year — much off the back of its free-to-play phenomenon. It's a pretty huge figure, and it shows that there is big money to be made in the free-to-play space outside of mobile.

Epic Games was previously known for developing the Unreal series, Gears of War, and Unreal Engine.

One of the big reasons Fortnite has been such a money-making machine in 2018 is due to its cross-platform nature. Every modern home console supports the game. Both major PC operating systems support the game. And both major mobile operating systems support the game. Pretty much anywhere you can play games, Fortnite is there, waiting as a free download that'll eventually tempt you with its paid skins and emotes.

But one also has to credit the game's fresh factor when it comes to keeping players engaged. Epic Games issues regular themed updates and patches to Fortnite that add new game modes, new weapons, and new player cosmetics that can either be earned via Battle Pass or purchased through the Fortnite store. If Fortnite were a game that didn't have those updates — if Fortnite ever got stale — there's a good chance the masses would move on to the next thing.

Perhaps that's why Epic Games is leveraging Fortnite's popularity on PC to open the Epic Games Store. Making $3 billion in a year might not be a realistic year-over-year goal for the company if Fortnite is doing the majority of the work. And who knows — maybe Fortnite won't always be this popular. By gaining a foothold now, the Epic Games Store can try to create that same lock-in loyalty that Valve's created with Steam.

It'll take time. But as long as Fortnite keeps doing what it's doing, at least for while longer, it can be done.

Unsurprisingly, it seems Epic Games hasn't commented on the TechCrunch story.