Last year, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) took the gaming world by storm and became the first title to surpass DOTA 2 in concurrent players on Valve’s Steam platform. PUBG’s rampant popularity drove many companies to embrace the battle royale game format, the most famous being Epic Game’s free battle royal mode for Fortnite. Epic Games may be facing a lawsuit over Fortnite Battle Royale, but from where I’m standing, it’s winning the fight for battle royale market share.
Epic released the Fortnite Battle Royale mode in September 2017, and the game quickly gained the attention of tens of millions of players, and there’s no sign of the game’s popularity waning any time soon. This week, Epic revealed that more than 125 million unique players have logged into Fortnite since its inception.
Fortnite Battle Royale’s rapid rise to the top of the gaming charts is in part due to the game being free, but it’s also largely because the game is widely accessible to almost anyone. Epic Games offers Fortnite for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and mobile devices, and it just landed on the Nintendo Switch this week.
Fortnite Battle Royale wouldn’t be so popular if the game weren’t fun to play, but there may be more to its popularity than compelling gameplay. A recent article in LiveScience questioned the addictive qualities of Fortnite Battle Royale. LiveScience spoke with Randy Kulman, who is the clinical director of South County Child and Family Consultants in Wakefield, Rhode Island, who posited that Fortnite’s short 20-minute rounds and chance-based gameplay tempt you to play another round in the same way that casino slot machines temp you to stick another dollar in the slot.
And now, Epic is adding a financial incentive to the mix, which will surely draw more players into the fold. Last month, the company announced that it would put $100,000,000 up for Fortnite eSports competitions for the 2018/2019 season. Today, it revealed some details about how it would distribute the prize money.
Epic said that it plans to spread the prize pool between “community organized events, online events, and major organized competitions all over the world.” The Fortnite World Cup Qualifiers would begin in the fall, with the first Fortnite World Cup finals scheduled for late 2019. Epic said the qualifying events would be open to everyone. Most of the competition would focus on Solo and Duo events, but there would also be events for squads.