Is the new Fortnite Crew subscription worth the money?
After a number of leaks and rumours over the past few months, Epic has finally confirmed the addition of a new layer of monetization to Fortnite.
Fortnite Crew is due to launch soon, it is a $11.99 subscription for the game that gives you the Battle Pass, V-Bucks, and exclusive cosmetics. Reaction has been mixed, with many not particularly liking the idea of having another fee to pay every month for the game. Fortnite does have a better reputation than a lot of comparable games when it comes to monetization though, so the value of the subscription is worth exploring in a little more depth.
Fortnite Crew Subscription
The Fortnite Crew subscription service is due to launch alongside Season 5 of the game. The service is going to cost $11.99 and that will be billed monthly instead of per season like the Battle Pass. This is what you’ll get with the subscription:
- That Season ‘s Battle Pass
- Exclusive Skin and Associated Cosmetics
- 1,000 V-Bucks per Month
So how does this stack up in terms of value? It really comes down to how you engage with Fortnite. Players who are after the rarest skins will probably want to get this service, as the cosmetics are exclusive. Outside of the exclusives, this isn’t the best deal though. 1,000 V-Bucks doesn’t go very far, and the subscription fee is far above that of the Battle Pass. The Battle Pass itself gives you enough V-Bucks to buy the next one with some spare. If you regular purchase skins, then this might get you a bit of a discount on your V-Bucks.
The pass isn’t offering a crazy amount of content for your money. What’s more, it doesn’t really seem to be catering to the more casual or more hardcore consumer. There aren’t enough V-Bucks to placate one group, and not enough benefits to make it appealing to the other.
So who exactly is this for? Probably Fortnite’s younger crowd, which raises questions of Fortnite’s monetization method in the first place.
Fortnite Crew Announcement Trailer!pic.twitter.com/8zMJcWwVqi
— ShiinaBR – Fortnite Leaks (@ShiinaBR) November 24, 2020
Fortnite and Monetization
The response to the Fortnite Crew subscription hasn’t been all that positive, but the reaction feels unfair. Fortnite is a genuinely free to play game. The degree of variation within these kinds of titles is bigger than you might expect. Fortnite only sells cosmetics. Those in the store are bought for one firm price, there are no lootboxes or other dirty mechanics at play. Even the Battle Pass is basically a one-time purchase, with it being easy to complete it enough to get the next for free.
Contrary to the popular view of Fortnite, it has always had a relatively tame monetization model for a game of its size. There isn’t any paying for access to weapons or having to gamble. There are a lot of cosmetics, they are overpriced, and they are increasingly a billboard for other pop culture properties. No one is forced to buy any though and there is no second tier of gameplay for paying customers.
Is Fortnite Crew a Good Deal?
Fortnite has managed to make so much for Epic through its appeal, not through predatory practises like lootboxes. Although, its methods of marketing to the younger crowd and encouraging conspicuous consumptions can be regarded pretty cynically. The Fortnite Crew subscription could be viewed as a continuation of this. It might not be a great deal, but it has zero impact on the game and is really just for the bigger fans who don’t mind paying. Parents of younger players might even apricate this model better, with a kid getting a set pocket money of V-Bucks through the subscription rather than asking for more every time a skin that grabs their eye appears.
The main counterpoint here is that Fortnite is relentless in selling cosmetics. Which most free to play games are. Even a lot of paid-for games feature considerably greedier and nastier methods of monetization than Fortnite does. The subscription model isn’t changing that. It’s just adding another fairly redundant purchase to the game. It’s not gonna make you one of the best Fortnite players, or add much to the experience, but you don’t have to buy it.
On the surface, Fortnite Crew doesn’t appear to be the best deal. It is however mostly harmless. Accusations of gouging seem unfair when the game has avoided the worst aspects of free-to-play games that are now commonplace even in paid-games.
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