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How many people still play Fortnite?

(Image Credit: Epic Games)
(Image Credit: Epic Games)
Izaak
ANALYST
Modified 30 Sep 2020, 23:03 IST
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With so much going on in the last quarter of 2020, it’s becoming fairly difficult to keep track of how many people are playing Fortnite. These last few months have been especially difficult for a number of reasons, including Fortnite being removed from the App Store. So how many players still play, and how can we know?

Fortnite player count and calculations

(Image Credit: Statistica)
(Image Credit: Statistica)

According to a chart published by Statista on September 3rd of 2020, Fortnite reached a peak of 350 million players in May of 2020. This peak came a few months after the global pandemic had finally circulated, and all but the most stubborn countries were still open and fully functional.

As expected, with so many people being confined to their houses, Fortnite became a source of entertainment and socialization for gamers all over the world, and we can expect that the 350 million number was a result of a surge of players jumping into the game at that time.

But 2020 is an odd year for sure, and that number has almost certainly changed drastically since. This is because in late August, Epic updated Fortnite in a way which violated the terms of service of both Apple and Google, causing the game to be pulled from the App Store and Google Play Store.

While the game can still be played and updated on Android devices through other means, Fortnite for iOS devices has been locked in a time capsule since late August.

Fortnite feud causes players to plummet

Shortly after Fortnite lost its iOS support, Fortnite for iOS saw its player base collapse. According to the reports from early September, Fortnite for iOS accounted for roughly a third of Fortnite players (116 million). 

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Epic also admitted that as many as 63% of these players had only ever played on an iOS device, and that there had been a 60% reduction in Fortnite players for the iOS versions.

That is nearly 70 million Fortnite players who stopped playing the iOS version following the feud, and a surprisingly high 46 million who still played the iOS version by September 2nd.

But with almost a month gone by since those numbers were calculated and published we can assume that Fortnite for iOS has almost certainly seen a greater drop in its player count. 

How many people have left Fortnite because of the feud?

While we don’t know the exact number, we do know a few things about how Fortnite operates. Fortnite has always relied on a near constant stream of content for players to dive into in order to retain players whose attention spans might easily drift to other games without it.

Epic has also become more aggressive and desperate in their court argumentation, even seeking an emergency injunction to force Apple to allow them to continue supporting the iOS version of Fortnite, although this has not yet panned out for them.

One difficulty in calculating the current player count is that many of the Fortnite players who left the iOS version may have simply moved to a console or PC version of the game. 

Without official numbers given by Epic or calculated by someone with the resources to do so, the best we can do is estimate the total player base.

It’s fair to say that Fortnite is going through a difficult time at the moment, and it’s likely that many of the players who leave now will never return. Still, Fortnite likely has over 250 million active players.

Published 30 Sep 2020, 23:03 IST
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