The Fortnite player base has continued to climb as this immensely popular battle royale title reaches a gigantic milestone.
At GDC 2019, the studio announced the player base has grown to more than 250 million registered players. That’s 50 million more than December 2018. Fortnite also beat its concurrent record recently with 10.8 million players battling it out online (or at least in the menus) at the same time.
Despite the growth of players, there has been a sign of lesser prominence within the industry. It was reported last month that Fortnite had a month-over-month dip of 48 percent in revenue from December to January. SuperData said “Epic Games’ Fortnite experienced a month-over-month dip of 48 percent in revenue across all platforms.” The company also said, “This comes after a peak month in December and points to an increasingly lumpy revenue profile heading into 2019.”
It was expected that Apex Legends would take a bite out of the battle royale genre as it reached over 50 million players in just a month and gained a significant viewership on Twitch. Apex Legends also had the best launch month of any free-to-play game in history with $92 million in revenue.
However, the CEO of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, thinks otherwise. He said to VentureBeat, “We haven’t seen any visible cut into Fortnite. It’s a funny thing. The only game you can see where its peaks cut into Fortnite playtime is FIFA.”
Sweeney states instead that Apex Legends has re-energized players. He said to VentureBeat, “What Apex Legends has done is [re-energize] a lot of shooter players, people who come in and out of shooters depending on what’s popular. It’s awesome to see other games picking up on battle royale, adding their unique spin to it and advancing the state of the industry.”
Fortnite also had a big seasonal changeover recently that copied some of Apex Legends’ most beloved features. There was also a huge promotion to earn a free battlepass for the season, which could account for some of the growth.
You could say Fortnite and Apex Legends are very different games cut from the same cloth. Fortnite is known for its building mechanics and a wackier third-person aesthetic, and Apex Legends is a more traditional shooter that’s first-person and has hero-based squad mechanics. One thing is clear: neither Fortnite nor battle royale are going anywhere anytime soon.