Fortnite May Be The Biggest Game In The Western World
Fortnite has enjoyed enormous success since introducing its Battle Royale mode in September of 2017. Fortnite even won our prestigious Clone of the Year award for 2017! It seems Epic's animated third person shooter has kept up the momentum into 2018.
As of January, Fornite Battle Royale (now an independent game) has surpassed the 40 million player mark, hitting a concurrent peak of over 2 million players. While that may not look too impressive relative to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and its 3 million concurrent players, keep in mind that ~60% of PUBG's players are from Mainland China.
In an interview with EuroGamer, lead systems designer Eric Williamson stated:
"some of the folk around the office are saying hey, we could be the biggest Battle Royale game in the western world, which is crazy.
"Some people are saying we could be the biggest and best-played game [full stop] in the western world."
While there's no questioning Mr. Williamson's claim that Fortnite is the top Battle Royale title in the West, the second claim is a bit more dubious. League of Legends also supports a playerbase well north of 40 million (100M monthly active), but we don't have exact figures on its concurrent playerbase, nor how that playerbase breaks down by region. Even if its not quite top dog yet, odds are Fortnite will continue to grow throughout 2018, easily cementing its position.
Fortnite continues to update its free to play Battle Royale mode, with massive updates to its map coming this week. The new map looks much crisper and adds a new city area with multi-story buildings and an underground mine region for players to hide out in. Epic Games, the developers of the Unreal Engine, have invested heavily in Fortnite Battle Royale. Those investments stand to benefit the wider gaming community. By implementing a new feature called "leveling streaming" into the Unreal Engine, Epic not only bolsters Fortnite, but any future game built on the Unreal Engine.
"It allows us to increase the performance but also opens us up to opportunities to improve the map in the future. Level streaming is technology which uncaps us to be able to increase the variety and quality of the localised area you're in at any given time. It's great technology that is useful in Battle Royale but also in all of our Unreal Engine licensees."