Fortnite Microtransactions Are Motivated By Social Influences & Sense Of Self-Worth, Says New Research

Fortnite reportedly made $1.8 billion in revenue last year, ranking the battle royale phenomenon as the biggest free-to-play game on the planet for 2019. The revenue stream can hardly be overlooked when knowing that despite having fewer players than League of Legends, Fortnite players are more than twice likely to spend on microtransactions in comparison.

While the spending habits can be attributed to player-appreciation for consistent content updates, a newly conducted study finds that Fortnite players are more likely motivated to spend on in-game content due to addiction-like behaviors.

Based on data collected from 428 adult Fortnite players, social influences are one of the biggest instigators for microtransactions. The players with close friends who are large spenders in Fortnite will most often become large spenders in the game themselves. Having close friends who spent more hours playing Fortnite will most often result in large spending as well.

Furthermore, players having a higher in-game level will have stronger motivations to spend money in Fortnite as they begin to perceive in-game items as representing good value for money. On the same principle, they will also force themselves to play longer in order to acquire in-game rewards.

The more problematic and worrying aspect of the study though comes from the finding that an increase in spending frequency will impact how Fortnite players see themselves. The notion of reducing the time spent playing Fortnite, for example, will diminish their sense of self-worth. Hence, such in-game monetization schemes, come around to convince players that they must keep playing and spending to be considered relevant among their peers.

Problematic gaming was associated with trait impulsivity, weekly time spent playing the game, and the perception that reducing time spent playing would diminish one’s sense of self-worth.

Epic Games has started gunning even harder for in-game as well as esports events. Earlier today, a Fortnite movie night was announced by the developer which will allow players to watch Inception, Batman Begins, or The Prestige in-game depending on the time and location.

Earlier in the week, DreamHack announced a series of monthly Fortnite open tournaments with a massive prize pool. Then there are the upcoming seasonal chapters which will continue to be revealed in the months to come.