How do you get consumers excited about 2FA? Gamification, Fortnite’s developer hopes

One of the greatest threats to enhanced security is user friction, particularly for multi-step authentication methods such as 2-Factor Authentication. Developer Epic Games is attempting to overcome that with its smash hit game Fortnite by rewarding players for enabling 2FA and protecting their account.

Players who do not have 2FA enabled have been asked for months to add the security feature to their account and help prevent unauthorized access. But with the latest patch to the game, Epic has gone a step further and added an in-game reward for those who set up 2FA for their digital identity.

Starting with the game’s latest patch, players are presented with a splash screen asking them to enable 2FA. In exchange, the game will give them access to the “Boogie Down emote,” a dance animation players can have their characters perform in the game.

In Fortnite, players can spend real money to buy in-game currency, which can then be used to purchase character add-ons such as emotes, outfits, and in-game tools.

Alternatively, they can either earn or win certain items by playing and achieving certain goals. In the case of the 2FA bonus, players will receive an exclusive emote they can’t otherwise access for their character.

2FA requires users to verify their identity through a second account, such as via a phone number, smartphone app, or verified device. By requiring this step, in addition to a traditional password, it becomes much more difficult for accounts to be compromised, even if the user’s password is leaked in a data breach.

OWI Insight: If there’s anyone who can convince users to enable 2FA, it might just be Epic Games and Fortnite. The game is a global phenomenon, with a rabid fanbase of passionate gamers who are willing to spend serious cash for purely cosmetic digital add-ons. One recent estimate found that Fortnite generated $318 million in revenue in the month of May alone, all from the sale of items like emotes. Epic is betting that many gamers would sacrifice some convenience in accessing their account in exchange for a free in-game item, and there is good reason to believe they will be successful once again.