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Fortnite is Free to Play but it's Racking Up the Bills

Posted at 7:09 PM, Jun 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-27 19:10:16-04

The online survival game, Fortnite is deceptively expensive. It's free to play, but its making its money off microtransactions.

"I try to budget myself. If you don't budget yourself you get caught up in a lot of skins," Justin Thompson of Buffalo, said.

People buy things like costumes, celebrations, and other in-game items for their character. 

According to a survey of 1,000 Fortnite gamers by lendEDU, 68.8% of people made in-game purchases. Of those nearly 690 people, they spent an average of $84 on the game. For perspective, the average videogame bought in a store costs $60.

Thompson said that he has spent even more than this.

"Probably a couple hundred. You buy like $25 at a time.... so yea probably a couple hundred."

It's easy to do. To make purchases users need 'V Bucks'. All one needs to do once a credit card is in the system is click buy. It's similar to purchasing things off Amazon.

So how can parents prevent their kids from racking up the bills?

  1. Set up a reward based budget for chores and good grades.
  2. Put a parental block on Xbox, PS4, and iOS devices.

However, Fortnite isn't the only game to do this. Mobile phone games operate on the same microtransaction model. It's not uncommon for store bought games to come out with new and expensive downloadable content.

"There are some games with $20 add-ons $50 add-ons. There's a game that has an $80 add-on."

Also, in the case of Fortnite, the in-game purchases don't make one's character better. It's mainly for aesthetic purposes.