The free-to-play game Fortnite is all anyone in the gaming world is talking about. From its humbler origins as a paid early-access title, it has since engulfed the gaming world, with its player base now pushing 50-million strong in less than a year since the game was released (and only a few months since it went free-to-play).
Perhaps most impressive is that Fortnite has attracted millions of players who weren’t previously gamers at all, as a study released by BTIG estimated that as many as 20% of the game’s players fall under that classification. Thus, rather than simply pulling players away from other games, fears of which had weighed on other gaming stocks like TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE, INC Common Stock (NASDAQ:TTWO) earlier this year, Fortnite is also growing the video game industry by leaps and bounds, like few games ever have.
Fortnite’s continued success is no guarantee of course. In the middle of 2016 we covered 5 stocks that were benefiting greatly from Pokemon Go, the augmented reality game that had taken the world by storm. Within weeks of its release, Pokemon Go was being played by nearly 30 million users daily. Fast forward a year and that number had plummeted to just 5 million, as users either grew tired of the game or grew tired of causing accidents, a reported 100,000 of which were caused by the game’s players according to a study last year.
Nonetheless, the success of Fortnite looks far more sustainable. The concept is not nearly as radical as Pokemon Go’s and doesn’t require pesky things like going outside. There’s also limitless gameplay essentially, unlike Pokemon Go, which rabid players eventually mastered and had little of interest left to keep them playing.
While Fortnite’s developer Epic Games is not a public company, several such companies have connections to the game. We’ll take a look at those stocks below.
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Turtle Beach Corp (NASDAQ:HEAR)
Gaming headset maker Turtle Beach Corp (NASDAQ:HEAR) has been far and away the biggest beneficiary of Fortnite’s popularity. Shares of Turtle Beach have gained a remarkable 850% in 2018 thanks to the online game, which requires a lot of verbal communication between players, with Fortnite being credited almost entirely for Turtle Beach’s 110% spike in headset sales in Q1.
It’s anticipated that the tailwinds from the battle royale genre’s massive growth will persist for years, with big game makers like Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) and Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) expected to try and grab a piece of the battle royale pie in the future. That should mean continued growth opportunities for Turtle Beach Corp (NASDAQ:HEAR) as the genre expands and evolves, attracting more headset-bereft gamers to it.
On the next page we’ll look at two other stocks that Fortnite is driving higher.