"Fortnite" — a free video game where characters fight and build defenses to survive — is the latest gaming phenomenon to sweep the web.
But "Fortnite" is about to face a new challenge: The fickle world of mobile gaming, where companies can make a ton of money on a hit game, only to fade into oblivion later.
The game started on PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Mac, and is now moving to iPhone. Fans of the game say the iPhone launch is a game-changing development that lives up to the other versions of the software.
But while PC and console franchises like "Minecraft" and "Call of Duty" have been enduring cash cows, the world of mobile gaming tends to have higher highs and lower lows. "Fortnite's" creators might be wise to keep history in mind as they try to monetize on mobile.
The good news for "Fortnite" is that mobile game spending is 2.3 times higher than PC and Mac gaming, and 3.6 times higher than game consoles, according to a recent report from App Annie and IDC. Although only about 35 percent of total apps downloaded are games, games generate about 80 percent of spending in the Google and Apple app stores. iPhone users spend about twice as much on games as Android users, the report said.
The bad news is that a short-term payout doesn't guarantee long-term monetary success — just ask the makers of hit games like Puzzle & Dragons and Fruit Ninja, which were among the top mobile games ever as recently as 2015.