Yes, Fortnite is making a lot of money for Epic, and the same can be said for PUBG Corp. But battle royale mania has also meant success for other ends of the game industry, notably for headset makers. Turtle Beach have seen record profits in the early part of 2018, and they’re attributing that success in large part to the astronomical popularity of those new games.
Net revenue for Turtle Beach in Q1 2018 was $40.9 million, a 185% increase over the $14.4 million reported for the quarter in the previous year, marking record profits for the company. Their financials do reflect the calendar year, and there’s one clear difference between March 31, 2017, and March 31, 2018: PUBG had barely entered Early Access, and the battle royale craze had not yet begun.
Turtle Beach’s official press release attributes the company’s record revenue to “increase in market share on top of higher volumes driven by high-performing game releases.” Speaking to Variety, CEO Juergen Stark was much more explicit about where the sudden success is coming from.
“The business is doing really, really well,” Stark says, “and what’s driving that – beyond our strategy and being a good quality product – is the Fortnite, PUBG, and battle royale craze, which has introduced a bunch of new people into games.”
It’s not just the sheer popularity of these games that has Stark convinced they’re driving headset sales. Battle royale games are heavily reliant on audio cues and strongly encourage social play. Stark also says that Fortnite being free doesn’t hurt. “Instead of spending $60 on a game, they can spend $60 on a headset.”