While Fortnite may have made some large strides toward their long-term metaverse goals with the launch of its LEGO, racing and concert worlds, they have also used that opportunity to try to offset falling battle royale revenue in some major and immediate ways.
While everyone is having quite a bit of fun with the new parts of the game, for the racing and concert portions specifically, Epic is really trying to monetize those in a way we haven’t seen quite to the extent before. While Fortnite fans were happy to see LEGO translations of their skins and hop directly into that mode with little fuss, for the others?
In the Fortnite’s Rocket Racing mode, Epic has decided that its cars should cost significantly more than most normal Fortnite skins. The most egregious example would be the new Diesel Bundle, a single car with six different swappable decals. It is 4,000 V-Bucks, Buying 1,000 V-Bucks for $9 and 2,800 V-Bucks for $23 will still leave you a few short unless you have some hanging around. So instead from zero you’d have to pay $37 for the 5,000 bundle. That’s more than we’ve ever seen for a single Fortnite skin by a good margin, and is very much negating the “micro” in microtransaction. The “cheap” cars are 2,500 each, which you can get for $23 a piece. The very tail end of the $10 normal Fortnite battle pass will get you a car as well.
Harmonix used to sell Rock Band songs for $2 a piece. Now, that’s changed. Fortnite’s Festival Main Stage mode is now selling individual songs, popular tracks like Olivia Rodrigo’s Vampire or Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy for 500 V-Bucks apiece. That would be the equivalent of around $5, but since you cannot buy V-Bucks in that small of quantity, starting from zero you’d have to buy the $9 pack for 1,000, so you really have to get two songs at a time, or save the extra.
The Festival mode is also selling $9 guitar and drum kits, but it also has an entirely separate battle pass for the mode. That’s 1,800 V-Bucks, so $18 at its cheapest, close to double what the normal battle pass costs. And that only adds a “premium track” which gets you 11 items include The Weeknd’s skin at the very end.
This is, of course, just the start. As these modes get more popular, we will see more and more of these types of bundles and passes and hyper expensive new additions to the game. Obviously we’ve seen pricey skins in the past, but this is a whole new microtransaction dimension for Epic and they’re not going to waste that chance, which is very clear. Are people really going to pay $40 for a Fortnite car? I guess we’ll see.