Epic Games has made an astronomical investment of $100 million in competitive gaming and the future of its super hit battle royale shooter Fortnite, as it plans to introduce a well-funded esports space alongside entertaining streamers, VentureBeat is reporting. The studio has confirmed that this influx of cash is all for the first season.
“To put this in some perspective, in 2017, the top 10 games combined gave out $91.2 million in prize money,” esports logistics pro and personality Scott Smith explained on Twitter. “Fortnite with the biggest [hold my beer] in esports history.”
“Since the launch of Fortnite: Battle Royale we’ve watched the passion for community competition grow and can’t wait to empower you to battle with the best,” reads an Epic blog from the Fortnite team.
Over the next 12 months, users can expect some massive prize pools for Fortnite esports events. According to data-tracking firm Newzoo, esports attracts young, male demographic that is obsessed with titles like Dota 2 and League of Legends, and constitutes a massive audience that is worth a whopping $905.6 million.
With Fortnite, Epic is trying something that will appeal to a broader audience. “We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way, but our approach will be different. We plan to be more inclusive and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game”, the game studio said.
Epic is now also looking at Fortnite as a potential catalyst for bringing in new groups to watch esports.