Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few months you've probably heard the word 'Fortnite'. A word, nowadays muttered amongst colleagues or parents with an attitude of either resentment or happiness.
If you don't know what it is - Fortnite is a gaming craze that is sweeping the globe faster than any game gone before it (even the likes of Pokemon Go). It's beauty is two-fold. Not only can you play it across the multiple platforms of console, PC or mobile it is also FREE!!!! (Actually I lie, it is more than two-fold - it's bloody fun and more engaging than any other game on the market).
Like most parents, I was very sceptical at first. Is it just another shoot'em up game to fry my kids minds and turn them into screen zombies (more than they already are)?
As with most games, the Fortnite fad will come and go. We will be onto the next 'thing' within a week and I will have paid in extras $79.99 for the pleasure of watching about 10 hours of perceived happiness and then 10 years of it sitting in the draw collecting dust.
Two months on from my Fortnite initiation, along with my 8 year old son and 11 & 13 year old daughters, I too am also a massive Fortnite fan. We love it. We play it together but most importantly we enjoy it for what it's becoming - and that's good family entertainment. Yes, I know this sound nuts and skeptics will be saying 'what kind of parent are you' but the reality of it is this game play is actually teaching them (and me) a lot of life skills that are often hard to teach.
They are embracing communication, discussing strategies and tactics together, working as a team and helping each other to succeed. For me, that ticks all of the boxes and all of these skills are really hard to engage youth of today on, as they are always so distracted. One of the biggest things I love is that it has become a small piece of play that we can all do together and something they actually are willing to do together.
Enough of the parenting chat for now.
What is interesting and relevant to business right now is the way that Epic Games is controlling the Customer Experience (CX). It wasn't very obvious to me at first, but a few months and seasons in I can now see what they are doing.
Epic Games are using regular releases and updates to their product but they are doing them in a very fascinating way...
They know their customers cadence of play and burnout, so they have built their release strategy around this data. Epic Games are bringing out new features and engagement triggers at the perfect times. They do it with this 'Big Day' mentality, teasing their customers that something special is coming, creating excitement and anticipation until finally it drops. The hype in our household this morning alone was amazing and it is creating a new lease of life for us as Fortnite fans.
So, think about your customer experience and strategy for engagement. How are you building the hype? How are you getting the customers anticipation levels up? What's your big day and how are you going to create a global craze in your own backyard?
They've generated a revenue of USD$1.2 Billion in less than a year, so they're obviously doing something right.
Oh, and did I mention the awesome dance moves this dad also gets to learn?
Fortnite adds new things regularly, but it understands the importance of the big day. Getting a random gift here and there is nice, but nothing beats the feeling of seeing a pile of presents on Christmas. The first day of a new season is Christmas. It’s “the big day.” And just like kids rush to the tree on that morning, Fortnite fans are eager to explore and experiment with every new item and location on the debut day of Season 5. It creates a ton of excitement.