Fortnite is Europe's most played Nintendo Switch title for 2019

Olivia R. January 2, 2020

When you hear Nintendo Switch, you probably think Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, or maybe even The Legend of Zelda.

Nintendo released a list of the top 20 Switch games in Europe and, surprisingly, the most played Switch title in Europe in all of 2019 was actually Fortnite.

Based on the amount of time played on data-enabled accounts, the free-to-play battle royale beat a lot of exclusive Nintendo titles, including second-place finisher The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, third-place Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Splatoon 2. 

Fortnite was released for the Nintendo Switch on June 12, 2018, almost a year after the game was released on PC, PS4, and Xbox. That gave Fortnite about a year and a half to climb the rankings, beating Minecraft, Pokemon: Let's Go, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the top spot in Europe. But in truth, developer Epic Games' popular title didn't even need that long to shoot up the list. In fact, it only needed 24 hours. 

Fortnite becomes popular overnight on Switch

24 hours after Fortnite was released on the Switch, former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime revealed that the battle royale was already downloaded over two million times. 

"It speaks to the power of the franchise, the engagement of [Nintendo's] players, and the resonance of being able to play it anytime, anywhere," Fils-Aime told Polygon at the time. 

With numbers like that in only 24 hours, it's not quite as shocking to now learn that Fortnite was able to beat out classic Nintendo titles like Mario Party and Super Mario Maker 2. In fact, 50% of Nintendo Switch owners downloaded Fortnite since it was launched in June 2018, according to a statistic from the end of that same year. 

According to Business of Apps, there were 250 million Fortnite players total in 2019. 53% of Fortnite players were aged 10 to 25 years old, while 62.7% of Fortnite players above the age of 18 were aged 18 to 24. More than 83% of Fortnite players were male, and no female players competed in 2019's Fortnite World Cup finals. 

36% of Fortnite players called themselves "core gamers," and the median weekly time spent playing the battle royale was six to 10 hours per week. The game was also second highest viewed game on Twitch in 2019, with over 67.7 million hours watched.