"Fortnite" is free, but hardcore fans are paying hundreds of dollars for rare physical copies of the game

Screenshot / Ebay user wess07
  • Last summer, Epic Games briefly partnered with Gearbox Software to publish physical disc-based copies of “Fortnite” for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
  • Since the explosion of popularity around the free-to-play Battle Royale mode, which is only available via digital download, the now-sold out discs are being resold on Ebay and Amazon with wildly marked up price tags.
  • Now, hardcore fans have paid hundreds of dollars for the rare physical copies.

Rare disc-based copies of an early version of “Fortnite,” printed before the introduction of the wildly popular free-to-play “Battle Royale” mode, are being re-sold on Ebay and elsewhere for hundreds of dollars.

One of the reasons “Fortnite: Battle Royale” has exploded in popularity in recent months is that the online multiplayer game is available for free download on every major gaming platform. The “Battle Royale” is just one mode derived from a larger, co-operative version of the game, now called “Fortnite: Save the World,” which was published by Gearbox Software for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last summer, mere months before “Battle Royale” was announced in September.

The discs have been sold out for months now, and have recently been re-surfacing on Ebay and Amazon with marked-up price tags.

Originally retailing for $US60, the average price for one of these physical copies of Fortnite has now ballooned to about $US130, according to Ars Technica writer Kyle Orland. Although, many are selling for much more.

The copy pictured above is listed on Ebay for $US203, despite the fact it’s missing the manual that comes in the case. Another copy, still wrapped in its original plastic, was sold on June 7 for $US449.99. On Amazon, the disc alone-without the case, manual or packaging-costs $US175.

Today, a standard edition of “Save the World” can be downloaded from the Epic Games website for $US39.99, but Epic’s FAQ says the game will be made free-to-play “at some point in 2018.”

Gearbox Software was not immediately available for comment at the time of publishing, and it is unclear how many of these physical discs were published. “Fortnite” creators at Epic Games have chosen to focus on digital downloads instead of disc copies, and a representative told Business Insider, “there are no plans for future physical discs that we can share right now.”

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