Fortnite has changed the gaming landscape over the past 12 months and is now making its impact felt beyond the virtual realm.
Argos says the online battle royale shooter has been a major driver in its video games category this year, shifting not only thousands of consoles, but plenty of accessories and gaming chairs, too.
In its first Year in Tech report, the UK retailer revealed the rocketing sales of gaming gear, with headsets rising 65 per cent year-on-year, gaming chairs up 25 per cent and a fifth more controllers flying out the door.
The Fornite bandwagon has also acted as a fillip to gaming laptops – devices that have sometimes floundered, offering neither top-end performance or true portability – with Argos seeing a 62 per cent increase in sales.
Nick Hill, Head of Video Gaming Buying at Argos says its “incredible to see how much Fortnite has influenced our customers”.
Argos linked the popularity of Fornite to significant increases in the sales of all major consoles. It sold 22 per cent more Xbox Ones this year compared with 2017, 11 per cent more Playstation 4 consoles and saw a nine per cent uptick in Nintendo Switch sales.
“Based on previous gaming phenomena like Pokemon Go two years ago, we predict that Fortnite fever will peak this Christmas as more of our customers spend their free time immersing themselves in the game,” Nick adds. “ The Nintendo Switch continues to be a big seller for us, with sales up nine per cent year-on-year, as it allows customers to play games like Fortnite on-the-go or plug it into a TV at home.”
The research also revealed that Argos’ biggest demographic for tech was women, despite the gadget-obsessed male stereotype. Women account for 53 per cent of all tech sales, and are only out-purchased when it comes to drones and smart home devices.