Fortnite owes much of its massively scaled success to the fact that anyone can download and play the game’s battle royale mode for free. But that free-to-play popularity hasn’t stopped people from paying heavily inflated prices of up to $450 for disc-based retail copies of the game.
Gearbox Software published a limited number of physical disc copies of Fortnite for PS4 and Xbox One (and the PC in Europe) alongside the game’s paid Early Access release last July. That $60 release—which was focused on the player-vs-environment “Save the World” mode—came well before the game started getting outsized attention for the launch of its free-to-play battle royale mode in late September.
The retail discs, which have been out of stock at major retailers for months now, are quickly becoming sought-after collector’s items for rabid Fortnite fans. A quick search of recently completed eBay listings shows retail console copies of Fortnite (including new, used, and sealed copies) selling for an average of about $130 (and a median of $110) over the past two weeks. Used copies from Amazon’s third-party sellers are currently going for a minimum of $175 for a bare disc without the case.
If you don’t want to pay those inflated resale prices, you can download the exact same content (including some “exclusive” DLC) as a “Standard Founder’s Pack” for $40. And Epic says the “Save the World” mode included on the disc will be going free-to-play sometime later this year, further reducing the practical value of paying so much for a used disc.
Those practical concerns don’t seem to matter much to the Fortnite super-fans who are paying hundreds of dollars just to possess a relatively rare, “official” physical totem that represents their favorite free-to-play game. Those players are likely the same ones bidding hundreds of dollars for E3 Fortnite swag that was given to attendees for free. And before you offer a knee-jerk response that these collectors are being ridiculous, remember that hundreds of people paid an average of thousands of dollars each for Atari cartridges that were literally trash back in 2015.
Gearbox has yet to respond to a request for comment on whether a physical re-release is in the cards for Fortnite (or how many physical copies have sold thus far). An Epic Games representative said the company has “no plans to announce right now” regarding its own physical release for Fortnite, either before or after the “early access” period is over.
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