Fortnite refers to a videogame series, set in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested world. It is produced by Epic Games, and uses the company’s signature Unreal Engine. At present, there are two games that fall under the Fortnite umbrella: a team-based survival shooter called Fortnite: Save the World and Fortnite: Battle Royale, which as the name suggests is a last-person-standing game.
The former was released in a paid-for early access version in July 2017. A free-to-play version was anticipated in 2019, but Epic have since announced it will remain a ‘premium experience’. It is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and macOS.
It is the latter, however, which has been the real runaway success, becoming one of the most-played games on the planet. The player-vs-player, free-to-play game, launched in September 2017 is available on iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch as well as the aforementioned platforms, and can be played across platforms. It sees up to 100 players competing individually or in teams to be the last one/ones standing, combining shooting and construction elements.
While being free-to-play, a range of in-app purchases are available; largely access to cosmetic updates to players’ characters, which are released in limited-editions over 12-week seasons. Players must convert money into in-game currency Vinderbucks (V-Bucks) to make these purchases. Each of these seasons has a loose narrative plot, and Epic is known to introduce a range of different game modes to add variation, featuring different team-compositions or special add-ons.
Since its launch, millions of players have downloaded the game, which brings in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to its creators every month. It was even big enough to score an official crossover with Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame (the latter was actually a two-way crossover).
Chapter 2 of Fortnite: Battle Royale was rolled out in October 2019, with a new map to explore and a raft of new features. Naturally, records were broken…
The game was controversially pulled from the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store in August 2020, due to an ongoing dispute between Epic Games and Apple over revenue. The Fortnite developer claims that the 30% cut of in-app sales taken by Apple (and Google) was unfair. The game was ultimately pulled for allowing players discounts on purchases made outside of the app.
Fortnite had only been made available on the Play Store in April 2020, having only been available as direct download before than (still an option open to most of the world).
The game’s future as a mobile app then, is in doubt – leaving a $1.2 billion gap in the market, according to Sensor Tower. In October 2020, a US judge ruled Apple’s move was lawful and any lost revenue was Epic’s own fault. A subscription model is reportedly being touted, judging by surveys sent out to users. Third-party Google Play downloads continue.
To see just how many people play Fortnite and just how much money it brings in, as well as more Fortnite statistics and facts, read on. Unless otherwise specified, Fortnite will be used to refer to the Battle Royale game.
Fortnite key statistics
- Fortnite generated $5.1 billion revenue in 2020 for Epic Games, a 37 percent increase year-on-year but still below the $5.4 billion in made in 2018
- Before it was banned, Fortnite reached $1.1 billion in lifetime mobile revenue
- Fortnite has over 350 million monthly active players, making it one of the most popular games in the world
- Over 60 percent of players are in the 18-24 age bracket
|Launched||26 September 2017|
|Parent company||Epic Games|
|HQ||Cary, North Carolina|
|Key people||Tim Sweeney (CEO), Donald Mustard (CCO)|
Source: Epic Games
Fortnite lifetime mobile revenue
Note: This references total revenue in June of each year
Source: Sensor Tower
Note: This refers to registered users
Source: Epic Games
Fortnite monthly active players
Fortnite age demographics
Source: Verto Analytics
Fortnite gender demographics
Fortnite weekly usage
Fortnite hours watched streaming
Note: Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Mixer (til Q3 2020) and Facebook Gaming included
Source: Stream Hatchet
Fortnite events viewing hours
|Travis Scott||15 June 2020||12.3|
|Doomsday||2 Feb 2019||11.8|
|Marshmello||24 April 2020||10.7|
|Steve Aoki||8 May 2020||7.7|
|Diplo||31 July 2020||6|
Fortnite highest earners
Source: Esports Earnings
How many users were on iOS before it was banned?
116 million Fortnite users played on iOS, with 73 million playing exclusively on the platform (Forbes)
What is the record concurrent players?
12.3 million is the record concurrent players, which occurred on April 2020 during the Travis Scott concert
What is the median weekly time spent on Fortnite?
Median weekly time spent playing Fortnite stands at 6-10 hours (LendEDU)
Who is the most popular Fortnite player?
Ninja is the most popular with 24.2 million YouTube subscribers, alongside 16.7 million Twitch followers
How much does Ninja earn streaming?
Ninja reportedly earns $500,000/month from streaming Fortnite over YouTube and Twitch (TubeFilter)