Beating PUBG to consoles looks like a pretty good play
Fortnite: Battle Royale had seven million players in its first week, says developer Epic Games.
Fortnite: Battle Royale is a reinterpretation of the battle royale genre, which was made popular by games like H1Z1: King of the Kill and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. The game, which is a standalone spin-off of Epic’s Fortnite, was introduced as a free-to-play title on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One on Sept. 26. In a tweet sent out this morning, Epic claims that more than seven million players have given it a try since then.
Both Fortnite and Fortnite: Battle Royale are in early access, as are H1Z1 and Battlegrounds. What makes this situation interesting is that when Battlegrounds launched this summer it anticipated a six-month journey to full release. That date was pushed back into 2018 just one month after the developers announced the game would launch on Xbox One as well. Only after that did Fortnite launch, and only after that did Fortnite: Battle Royale get announced.
It’s impossible to independently verify how many players actually played Fortnite in its first week. Epic says seven million, but its games aren’t sold on the Steam marketplace. In addition to Steam, third-party sites like SteamSpy can give us an idea of how many people are playing Battlegrounds. Of course, that service is still pulling from the same set of data that Steam itself uses to track players.
But, the situation looks challenging for Battlegrounds. Both their own claims and SteamSpy put the number of owners around 13 million. That took them the entire summer to accumulate. Epic claims to have pulled in more than half of that in a single week, which means they’re on track to leap-frog Battlegrounds by next Wednesday.
Making matters worse, when Battlegrounds does land on a console it will be exclusive to Xbox One. On paper, that means Fortnite: Battle Royale will have a bigger potential audience in the long run.