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Warning to parents: ‘Fortnite: Battle Royale’ is a free game and likely always be

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Fortnite Bundle
This
“Fortnite” bundle can be purchased in stores, but only offers a
digital code for the free game with money to spend
in-game.

“Fortnite Deep Freeze
Bundle”/Epic Games


  • Don’t be fooled by anybody indicating otherwise: The
    world’s most popular game, “Fortnite: Battle Royale,” is free
    to download for everybody, on every platform. 
  • Major retailers offer a number of different “Fortnite”
    bundles, but they mostly add additional bonuses to the free
    game, like costumes and in-game currency — the game itself is,
    again, free. 
  • Like the most popular smartphone games, “Fortnite”
    makes its money by offering optional perks for real-world
    currency. 
  • People who are new to “Fortnite” should also beware of
    scams offering free V-Bucks,
    the game’s currency.

It’s the holiday gift-giving season, and that means that parents
are out to find the hottest toys and video games for their kids.
Unfortunately, that also means that some sellers will have an
opportunity to prey on uninformed shoppers who may be stepping
foot in a video game store for the first time ever to buy gifts
for their loved ones.

The most popular game of the year, “Fortnite: Battle Royale,” is
a free-to-play download, but that hasn’t stopped retailers from
getting in on the rush. Every major video game seller, from
GameStop to Walmart, has a variety of “Fortnite” bundles for
parents to buy, at a variety of price points. 

But don’t be fooled: “Fortnite” itself is a free download, and
probably always will be. The sale of V-Bucks, an in-game
currency, are how “Fortnite” makes its money, not charging for
the game itself.

The bundles just add additional perks to the free game, including
V-Bucks — the premium in-game currency — and special cosmetic
items for players. In other words, when you buy a “Fortnite”
bundle, you’re not paying for the game, you’re paying for these
bonuses. 

These bundles should be clearly labeled for what they are, though
at least one Australian on Reddit
noticed that his local games store had placed a sticker on the
case that could confuse the matter by covering over the fact that
it’s merely a code for some “Fortnite” extras. So, be careful out
there.

That’s not to say that “Fortnite” bundles don’t have value. The
included V-Bucks can help unlock paid content in the game, but
buyers should be aware that the game is free to own and play
without any monetary investment whatsoever. Though it can take a
while, players can earn V-Bucks by playing the game over time,
and unlock the items they like without paying. 

Being free-to-play has helped “Fortnite” amass over 200 million players since
it launched in July 2017, and creator Epic Games said that 80
million players are playing on a monthly basis. The game
reportedly earned more than $300 million in revenue during May
2018, primarily through V-Bucks microtransactions.

The demand for the Fortnite currency has risen as more players
get interested in the game, leading scammers to target young
“Fortnite” players with ads for free V-Bucks. Epic Games forbids
the sale of V-Bucks from unverified shops, and also bars players
from selling their accounts to other players. A feature for
trading premium items with friends is currently undergoing
testing with select players, but has not yet been formally rolled
out to the game at large. Ultimately, this means that you
shouldn’t trust anyone trying to sell V-Bucks or in-game items.

At the risk of confusing the matter further, it’s worth noting
that there is a separate, paid game mode for
“Fortnite,” called “Save the World,” that actually predates the
ubiquitous “Battle Royale” mode. If you want to play “Save the
World,” it costs $30, and doesn’t come in any of the existing
“Fortnite” bundles you find in stores. It’s also worth noting
that “Save the World” is far less popular than “Battle Royale.”

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