Olivia R. June 17, 2020
Ever since Fortnite was released in July 2017, the game's immense playerbase has only continued to increase.
With colorful animation, fun cosmetics, and an addictive battle royale mode, Fortnite has become one of the most popular video games in recent years thanks to its constant presence in mainstream media. The push to make Fortnite mainstream has been successful due to such personalities as streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins. The blue-haired Fortnite player had over 15 million followers while on Twitch and has since become the most popular streamer on Mixer. He has played with celebrity stars including rapper Drake, appeared in NFL commercials, and even spent an awkard evening promoting New Year's Eve in New York City.
Epic has continued to update Fortnite to appeal to new players, like when they implemented the B.R.U.T.E. mechs to help those new players find earlier and easier success. This has kept the game fresh and evened the playing field, even as it has caused tension with more established players and those interested in the game's competitive side.
“The mission of Fortnite is to bring players of all skill levels together to have a fun experience where anyone can win. For example – everyone having a shot at that first elimination or Victory Royale moment, and the satisfying feeling that comes with it. Right now, we know there are players out there who have never had that opportunity," Epic said.
While the competitive players in Fortnite haven't always liked Epic's choices, they have stuck around due to the amount of cash doled out in official tournaments. The first-ever Fortnite World Cup had a $30 million prize pool, with $3 million going to the first place finisher of the Solo tournament. Over 2.3 million people tuned in to watch the Fortnite World Cup stream. These tournaments may grow further as the game continues to change and gain in popularity.
With that popularity and notoriety continuing to increase, how many people are playing Fortnite in 2020?
What is the Fortnite player count in 2020?
As of May 2020, Fortnite has 350 million registered users. The game has had a steady increase in players registered since 2017.
In August 2017, Epic reported 1 million players. That quickly grew to 30 million by the end of that year.
In January 2018, Fortnite had 45 million registered users. By August, Fortnite had recorded 78.3 million players, a new single-month record for the game. Then in October, Fortnite broke another record as it reached 8.3 million concurrent players, which still stands as the game's record to this day. That was the month Fortnite was launched in South Korea. By the end of 2018, Fortnite had over 200 million users.
That jumped up to 250 million by March 2019. That was up a staggering 25% from the 2018 end-of-year figure, and double the official figure of 125 million from the previous June.
Who is playing Fortnite in 2020?
There's no denying that a lot of people are playing Fortnite. But who makes up these 350 million players in 2020?
A study by Newzoo found that over half of Fortnite players, about 53%, were aged between 10 and 25 years old. Of players over 18 years of age, 63% are 18-24. Another study found that 46% of Fortnite players fall into this age range.
About 36% of Fortnite players consider themselves to be "core gamers," meaning they consistently play video games, including Fortnite. In fact, a lot of Fortnite players don't play other battle royale titles, like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds or Apex Legends; 53% only play Fortnite.
The same studies found that between 72% and 84% of Fortnite players are male. With so many male players, it comes as no surprise that there were no female competitors in the Fortnite World Cup Finals. But there are streamers such as Ewok who can inspire female gamers to be passionate about the popular battle royale, even if they aren't in the majority of the game's playerbase.
While Fortnite is a free-to-play title, more than 70% of the players have spent money in-game. The average amount spent is $85. It's no surprise that Fortnite's total revenues for 2018 were estimated at over $2.4 billion. That same year, Epic Games made an overall profit of more than $3 billion.
Fortnite players spend about six to 10 hours per week playing Fortnite, on average. Some spend even more time watching others play the game on streams.
Fortnite streaming and viewer numbers in 2020
When Fortnite launched in July 2017, the battle royale already had over 76,000 viewers at its peak on Twitch.
By March 2018, that peak number jumped to 840,000. In June, there were over 1.5 million viewers at the game's peak. Just one month later in July, Fortnite had 148 million hours viewed on Twitch. In October, Fortnite was watched for 67.7 million hours on Twitch, the second-highest total, and for 42.4 million hours on YouTube, the highest figure among games.
The average number of concurrent Fortnite broadcasters peaked in January 2019 at 13,715. More than 762,000 people tuned in to watch Fortnite that month at its peak. Later that year in October, Fortnite broke the record number of concurrent viewers logged in thanks to the mysterious Black Hole event, with a tremendous 7 million viewers.
April had the highest Fortnite viewership on Twitch in 2020 thus far, with over 1.266 viewers at its peak. The average viewership that month was over 135,000.
Over on Mixer, Ninja's first stream had 2.2 million viewers throughout its 8.5-hour duration. The steam's peak came 85,876 concurrent viewers. That was more than half of Mixer's entire audience at the time.
No matter the platform, Fortnite continues to be a popular game to watch. It has continuously gained players, viewers, and streamers. It wouldn't be surprising if Fortnite continued to grow through the remainder of 2020 and into 2021.