×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Fortnite,’ ‘PUBG’ Led to Rocketing Headset Sales, Turtle Beach Says

While battle royale games like “Fortnite” and “PUBG” continue to court their own successes, it appears the sheer magnitude of players they draw is having a halo effect on headphone sales. Or at least that’s what the head of Turtle Beach tells Variety.

“The business is doing really, really well 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,” said Turtle Beach CEO Juergen Stark.

Turtle Beach, which accounts for nearly 46% of the gaming headset market share, saw a 185% increase in net revenue over the same period last year, according to its first-quarter earnings report released this week. The company was selling so many headsets, Stark said, that it will be spending more than $4 million this quarter on air-freighting new stock into the country.

“We have pulled out all of the stops to catch up our supply,” he said.

The spike in second-quarter sales led the company to increase its forecast for both the next quarter and the year significantly. The news also more than doubled the company’s stock on Wednesday.

And Stark said he believes both the genre and its impact on things like headphones are here to stay.

“The [battle royale] games are a lot of fun, snackable, and have a lot of team play,” he said. “And it’s very clear to the players that playing these games with headsets provides a survival advantage because you can hear the audio cues better.”

Why is Stark convinced that it’s battle royale games that had such a massive impact on headphone sales?

We’ve got sell-through data in models that go back years, and it is very clear that starting at the beginning of January that these two games had taken off on Xbox and PlayStation,” he said. “And it’s very clear it’s these two games that are driving a unique new phenomenon that is driving in new players and increasing headset use.”

Stark’s theory is that the games’ ability to attract a broader, new audience, their reliance on audio, and the fact that they are free to play combine to create an increased desire to purchase headphones.

“Because ‘Fortnite’ is free, there’s this opportunity to buy peripherals,” he said. “Instead of spending $60 on a game, they can spend $60 on a headset.”

While Turtle Beach has a long history of licensing its headset with game brands like “Call of Duty” or esports teams like OpTic, Stark said he’s not sure they’d go after such a deal with “PUBG” or “Fortnite.”

“Potentially we could, sure,” he said. “But the headsets are selling really well without any kind of license.”

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • Apple Arcade

    Apple Officially Launches Apple Arcade Game Subscription Service

    Apple officially cut the ribbon for its new game subscription service Thursday: Priced $4.99 per month, Apple Arcade offers unlimited access to over 100 exclusive games. Apple Arcade was released alongside iOS 13, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. Some of the titles available through the subscription package include “Lego Brawls” from Lego [...]

  • Venn co-founders

    VENN Raises $17 Million to Launch a Cheddar-like TV Network for Gaming

    Video game industry veterans Ariel Horn and Ben Kusin have raised a massive $17 million seed funding round to launch a new gaming-focused TV network called VENN. Short for Video Game Entertainment and News Network, VENN wants to mix esports with Twitch-style video game streaming and other gaming-related entertainment content when it launches in 2020. [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

  • Game Awards OrchestraThe Game Awards, Show,

    The Game Awards 2019 Sets December Date, Will Live-Stream Across 45 Platforms

    The Game Awards 2019, the fifth annual video game industry kudosfest, will be held Dec. 12 in Los Angeles and will be live-streamed for free again on more than 45 different platforms worldwide. The Game Awards is an annual celebration of video games and the people who make them, created and executive produced by Geoff [...]

  • HTC Vive Cosmos

    HTC Replaces HTC Vive With New $699 Vive Comos VR Headset

    HTC is getting ready to retire the headset that was central to its expansion into the virtual reality market 3 years ago: The company announced on Thursday that its new Vive Comos headset will effectively replace the original HTC Vive, which was first released in April of 2016. “It was time to upgrade our consumer [...]

  • Sohu logo

    China's Sohu Seeks Games Consolidation With $500 Million Bid for Changyou

    Sohu, one of China’s Internet pioneers, is offering to buy out its games subsidiary Changyou in a deal that values Changyou at $532 million. Both companies currently have their shares listed on NASDAQ, but if the deal goes ahead Changyou would lose its separate stock listing. Sohu, which has interests covering search, digital advertising and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content