Fortnite's NFL Skins Were Hugely Popular, Court Documents Reveal
Epic apparently sold 3.3 million NFL skins in just two months, bringing in $50 million.
As part of the ongoing court case between Apple and Epic, it was revealed that one of Fortnite's first major licensed skins store bundles was a huge success. It was confirmed in court documents that Epic sold 3.3 million skins in November and December 2018 alone for its NFL partnership.
These were sold for 1,500 V-Bucks (~$15 USD), which works out to around $50 million in revenue for one set of skins. The NFL no doubt go a cut of those sales as part of its agreement with Epic, but clearly both sides benefitted from the partnership. V-Bucks can also be earned through gameplay, so it's not a straight 1:1 for revenue.
We’ve not gotten a full scope of a Fortnite skin’s sales performance before. 3.3 millions skins at 1,500 v-bucks (roughly $15 as of winter 2018) is close to $50 million one set of skins. Granted, some chunk of that likely went to the NFL. https://t.co/y6fNdDuuoo— Nick Statt (@nickstatt) May 10, 2021
What's notable here is that this is seemingly the first time Epic has disclosed any specifics about the performance of its skins bundles, which is one of the main ways that the game makes money.
The NFL skins allowed players to dress up their Fortnite character like an NFL player. All 32 NFL teams were included in the initial store offering. It was so successful that Epic brought back the NFL skins with new features and more in 2020.
The developer also continued its partnership with sports clubs for in-game Fortnite skins. In 2021, Epic partnered with 23 famous football clubs--including Manchester City, AC Milan, Juventus, and more--for skins based on those teams. Given that football/soccer is far more popular globally than American football, it's likely these skins had strong sales, too.
Looking ahead, NBA skins are reportedly coming to Fortnite in the future.
Outside of sports teams, Epic has teamed up with numerous other giant brands, like Deadpool and Alien, while the company offered skins based on Lara Croft, Kratos, and Master Chief as well. Leaked documents from the Apple vs. Epic trial also showed that Epic was planning or hoping to have Samus from Nintendo's Metroid series come to Fortnite, alongside Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games and Naruto.
Check out GameSpot's rundown of all the major Apple vs. Epic developments so far to catch up with the latest news.