Fortnite released in July of 2017. Since then it has steadily remained at the top. In terms of viewership, player base and overall popularity, Fortnite is still doing quite well. Millions of players drop out of the Battle Bus each day. Hundreds of thousands of people watch it on numerous streaming platforms.
However, Fortnite isn’t what it used to be. Some of the more popular players have taken their gaming skills elsewhere. Other games have even proven to be more popular at times, with the battle royale genre getting oversaturated with the likes of COD: Warzone, Apex Legends, Hyper Scape, and more.
Loss of popular Fortnite streamers
A large portion of Fortnite’s popular streamers has moved to other games. They return for big events like the start of a new season or a live event but that seems to be it. Ninja didn’t play the game for months until his big return stream on YouTube.
Tfue hasn’t touched the game for quite some time. DrLupo switched over to Escape from Tarkov for the majority of his streams. TimTheTatman has switched over to COD: Warzone, with some Fall Guys mixed in. The likes of Shroud and Myth have almost exclusively streamed Valorant.
A new breed of Fortnite players
Fortnite’s most popular players, including the professionals, are quite younger than the original group that skyrocketed the game to superstardom. Clix, Benjyfishy, Mongraal and World Cup Solos Champion Bugha are set to carry the torch of Fortnite. Are they going to be able to hold the weight of the game on their shoulders like the Fortnite players of yesteryear?
The thing is these players became popular because of Fortnite. The aforementioned streamers all had a following before Fortnite in some way or another. The new set of pros and streamers could see their popularity fizzle out along with Fortnite. They haven’t been given the chance to prove they can maintain their viewership playing something else.
When did Fortnite peak?
From the summer of 2018 through the summer of 2019, Fortnite was at the highest it will probably ever be. It all started with Fortnite’s first Celebrity Pro-Am in 2018. Popular players and celebrities teamed up in a contest for charity. If anyone besides Ninja and Marshmello won, things may be much different today. It continued the following summer with another Pro-Am, then finishing with the World Cup.
The World Cup in 2019 set a record for the most-watched competitive gaming event ever. Across all platforms, over 2.3 million viewers tuned in to the World Cup. Since then, and with the coronavirus pandemic preventing LAN events, Fortnite has not seen a competition even close to the recognition of the World Cup.
Fortnite may have lost its touch
It is obvious that Fortnite has declined in a variety of areas. Fewer people are playing, even if the amount is still massive. Popular streamers have moved on. Viewership is great but down. Revenue for Epic Games has taken a hit. In 2018, Fortnite was one of the top-earning games on PC. In 2019, it was in the middle of the pack for console games but didn’t even break into the top 10 PC games.
The days of the World Cup hype are gone. The days when Ninja, TimTheTatman, CourageJD and DrLupo would hop on first thing in the morning to a hundred thousand total viewers while simply playing Fortnite’s squad mode are a thing of the past. It is only a matter of time before something comes along and actually removes Fortnite’s crown.