Fortnite: Battle Royale’s success is truly monumental. Just when it seemed PUBG had hoovered up every player interested in a Battle Royale game, along comes Epic with its imitation that has now gone on to 40 million players worldwide within just a matter of months.
The caveat is that Fortnite: Battle Royale is free-to-play, of course, but that takes little away from this achievement. Epic claims its current peak is two million concurrent players. That's closing in on double DOTA 2’s all-time record, and perilously close to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Fortnite has been such a success that Epic’s lead systems designer, Eric Williamson, told Eurogamer the team believes it “could be the biggest Battle Royale game in the western world, which is crazy.” Quite a claim, but not one without merit. PUBG is fronted by Korean publisher Bluehole, while League of Legends developer Riot Games is now majority owned by Chinese conglomerate Tencent.
As a result of the success, development on Fortnite continues at a frantic pace. The next major change is a rollout of a map overhaul, adding the first city (Tilted Towers) and a bunch of new named areas on the west side of the map. Each of the areas is now separated into more unique biomes, “the swamps feel swampier, the mountains feel mountainier”, says Epic’s Eric W. The theory is this should help players navigate the map easier, recognising landmarks and learning key points through repeated play.
Existing locations should also be getting an overhaul too, as well as plenty of quality of life improvements that should enhance how Fortnite feels to play.
All in all, it’s difficult to argue this anything but a monumental success for Epic. After looking for all the world like a cheap cash grab, Fortnite: Battle Royale is now one of the biggest games on the planet.
Any GD’ers joined the 40 million? How do you think it stacks up to PUBG? Let us know your thoughts!