We are diving deeper into a subject that has got the gaming community split in two: some really want Fortnite to die and forget ever seeing those dances (especially the floss!), while others hope that it will stay with us for as long as possible!
Fortnite is one (if not THE) most famous Battle Royale game of all time, so why do people keep saying that it is dying? What is happening to its player base? Is Fortnite slowly losing players and viewers on Twitch and other major streaming platforms? Is the game still successful in terms of profits? These questions, and many more, will be answered.
So let’s get into it!
If you are one of those people who have carried on with their lives blissfully unaware of the massive success of Fortnite, then let me give you a few facts about this game. It was released in July 2017 and just five short months after that it had already amassed 30 million players worldwide. By January 2018, its player base had grown to 45 million, but the game didn’t stop there!
In 2019 the game had reached 250 million players, with Epic CEO Tim Sweeney estimating that about 35% of the players were women, making Fortnite the first shooter with such high percentage of female players. Sweeney has mentioned that it’s the social experience of the game that had brought so many players in and, also, drawn so many women to Fortnite. And let’s not forget the building option! One moment you’re shooting at someone, and in a second they transform into a 3 storey building, leaving you to wonder whether you’re hallucinating or not. That must be fun, right?
Anyway, by 2020 there were over 300 million registered users, ten times the amount of players Fortnite had when it initially released. Today, there are estimated over 350 million registered users. So Fortnite’s growing popularity cannot be denied.
However, it is important to highlight that registered users do not always equal to active players!
In that department, Fortnite has on average between 2.5 and 3.5 million active players per day, according to playercounter.com. At the time of writing this article, Fortnite was having 2.9m players active worldwide.
Fortnite didn’t just grow its player base! They had also made $9 billion in its first two years after release, despite the game being free to play. Most of that money came from cosmetics and characters, with 58.9% of players admitting to spending their money on such items.
One of the best things that Fortnite has done since its launch has been their collaboration with various huge gaming, comic and movie franchises! From the collaboration with Marvel, which introduced new “Infinity war” cosmetics, to John Wick’s character being available to play as, to Star Wars and DC Comics characters being released every new season, Fortnite has managed to keep the attention on them and keep players coming back consistently.
Streaming and Twitch
With its colourful graphics and wacky characters, Fortnite revolutionized the Battle Royale genre, setting the trend for future games. Even today Fortnite still ranks #7 on Twitch.
Fortnite has had many great days in terms of streaming, and even broke world records when it came to viewership!
In March 2018 Twitch Streamer Ninja (his real name Tyler Blevins) hosted a stream that brought in over 635,000 viewers, making it the highest watched stream on Twitch, outside Esports competitions and tournaments.
Also in March 2018, taking example from Ninja, youtuber Rubén Doblas Gundersen (also known as elrubiusOMG) hosted a 100 youtuber battle royale match that gathered over 1.1 million viewers. While this stream hadn’t broke Youtube’s livestream records, it did have a huge impact on the gaming community and it definitely helped Fortnite’s popularity soar.
And while all this points to how successful and very much alive Fortnite was as a game, the situation today seems a bit less optimistic. As we record this video, Fortnite’s monthly hour count and viewer count are at the lowest point in the past year or so.
On top of that, many big Fortnite streamers such as Ninja, Nickmercs, Tfue and SypherPK had moved on to different game in the past two years, taking with them hundreds of thousands of viewers.
There are still plenty of tournaments and competitions being held, with crazy prize pools of $5 million or more, but in the recent years even those events have gotten less and less publicity. Even with its number 7 ranking on Twitch, it seems that Fortnite’s popularity has been slowly declining in the past 2 years, or so have other people claimed.
Is Fortnite dying?
A lot of people from the gaming community have been speculating lately that Fortnite is slowly dying. Of course, we all know that games have a certain life cycle, and it is normal for them to see their playerbase decrease with time. On top of that, we cannot ignore that, while Fortnite was revolutionary in terms of battle royales, many other games such as Apex Legends, Warzone and PUBG have followed suit since 2017, so the competition has drastically increased!
But even with all these ups and down, and the more recent speculations, we cannot deny the numbers. Fortnite still averages between 2.5 and 3.5 million active players per day, which makes it quite a popular game! So where do all these “Fortnite is dead” chants keep coming from?
Well, it all started in 2020 when a very popular youtuber known as McCreamy put out a music video with the title “Fortnite’s Kinda Dying”.
The video was a cover of Billy Joel’s song “we didn’t start the fire”, meant to poke fun at Fortnite and suggest that the game is losing players.
In the past two years, the video has gained over 65 million views, and convinced a lot of people that it is true, “Fortnite’s kinda dying”.
Was it true and accurate? Probably not. But was it catchy and entertaining? Hell, yeah!
Here are the facts
Sure, some players have lost interest in the game due to various reasons. A lot of players have grown older and moved on to other types of games as they aged, but Fortnite has consistently gained new registered users over the past years, even despite this music video. On top of that, the vast majority of users (32.5%) have claimed that they spend on average between 6 and 10 hours per week playing the game, despite having other commitments such as a job or school, kids and what-not.
And regardless of what other people say, we all cannot deny that Fortnite’s revenue has been steady, and in 2021 was the highest it’s ever been!
Typical of a dying game…bringing billions in revenue, right?
But all jokes aside, there is one thing McCreamy’s video did get right: just upgrading maps and skins is not enough. Especially considering the demographic. The majority of players are officially between 18 and 24 years old. (but we all know at least one of the neighbour’s kids who’s a minor and probably lied about his/her age so they could play the game). So given their young age, they’re obviously going to lose interest faster if the game doesn’t come up with something new every once in a while.
Does Fortnite need to do more in that regard? Yes, that would help retain the young ones, and it would be beneficial, considering the game demographics. 62.7% of players are between 18 and 24 years old!
But that doesn’t mean that it’s strategy up until now hasn’t worked!
Fortnite has been available on all consoles and was even available on mobile devices, up until it was taken off Apple App Store and Google Play store. Before that, it had managed to rack more than $1 billion in revenue just from its mobile game.
Its cultural influence on the gaming world cannot be ignored either. Just think about all the Fortnite dances you’ve seen kids (and even some adults!) do at parties, or on the street. On top of that, their free-to-play model is what has attracted millions of players in the first place! Some might have only played a game or two and then decided it was not for them. Others have loved the competitive nature of this battle royale and stayed loyal though and through. Their free-to-play model inspired other games, such as Apex Legends and Warzone to follow suit.
With events, new chapters and new collaborations being constantly introduced, Fortnite has continuously managed to attract players to their game. Just their Chapter 2 Season 4 finale event had brought in over 15.3 million concurrent players!
These player numbers sure do oscillate a lot, but that is mainly due to player fatigue by the end of a chapter, or season. They’ve seen it all, they’ve tried all the new skins, maps and characters that Fortnite had to offer that season, and now they sit quietly and wait for the next event, or chapter. This is normal for games like that, and it happens with other battle royales too! Does that mean that the game is dying? Absolutely not! Once Fortnite releases a new event, season or chapter, players will flock the servers once more to get their fill of the game! It’s all just part of a cycle!
This is probably what has led a lot of people to presume that Fortnite is dying. But our best guess is that it’s maybe just boredom with the same maps. And once the new season comes, and brings all the new stuff, they’ll all be happy and excited about the game once more!
Regardless of whether is boredom, somebody’s personal opinion, or just a sentence said out of hate for the game, Fortnite is not dying. It’s pretty much alive and kicking. It’s popularity is undeniable, with hundreds of millions of registered users all around the world and a constant daily active player base that sometimes reaches even 4 million concurrent players! Those are not the numbers a dying game would have!
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