In a mere 18 months, Fortnite has gone from zero to hero and along the way has picked up over 250 million registered accounts. If you’ve been living under a rock, or don’t have snotty-nosed Fortnite addicted pre-teen kids at home, you may not have even heard of it.
By far, the most popular version of the three game modes is Fortnite Battle Royale. This is where 100 players try to out wit, out strategize and out live each other with the last player standing deemed the winner.
This is also the one that causes small (and not so small) children to completely lose their minds while simultaneously adding millions of dollars to the Epic Games coffers every month. In fact, total revenue from 2018 is estimated to be at $2.4 billion, helped in no small part by beleaguered parents around the world who are bombarded with requests for new ‘skins’ on a very regular basis. Don’t ask.
But, for all its success, is Fortnite the most played game in the world? Actually it is not. Historically, it is only the 9th most played game. But that is since 2010 when the likes of Pac-Man Doodle commanded 505 million players every day at it’s peak. But honestly, does anybody even remember that game??
We also have the highly addictive Candy Crush Saga on the list with 500 million players. To date there are 5600 levels and more than a whopping one trillion Candy Crush games have been played. While its popularity has diminished slightly since its release in 2012, there are still 272 million active players every month – which is still more than Fortnite.
So the exciting race to be the most played game in the world is still on. And right now the leader is CrossFire, the tactical first-person shooter on Microsoft Windows. With over 660 million players worldwide, it is the number one game played on the planet. That is largely due to its popularity in Asia, especially in China and South Korea.
And the fact that it is free to play. But with numerous in-game purchases available, it is also one of the highest-grossing games of all time. As of 2018 it raked in more than $10.8 billion. But that is cumulative since its launch in 2007. Fortnite still beat it on revenue generated for the year 2018.
But the rev generated by these games doesn’t just stop at the cost of the game or the in-app purchases. They have spawned a global demand for merch including clothes, bedding, Pop! figures, backpacks, caps and plushies. Fortnite fans can even buy strategy guides to help improve their gaming skills. And of course how can we forget the hundreds of YouTubers who make a living from playing the game.
So can the rise of Fortnite continue? Can it eventually become the most played game in the world? Given how relatively new it is compared to many of its main competitors it has a real shot at climbing the ranks over the next few years. Right now, the biggest opposition comes from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) which was released only three months after Fortnite but already has 400 million downloads. Let the battle between these two gaming giants begin.