In the ongoing battle between Epic and Apple, Fortnite appears to have taken a massive hit. Reportedly, Fortnite lost as many as 60% of its iOS players following the ban, and a deeper look at the numbers reveals that this damage might have gone further than initially expected.
How many Fortnite players played on iOS
Even though iOS seems like just one platform in a series of places you can play Fortnite, it’s actually surprising how much the iOS community made up. According to Epic’s own numbers, Fortnite for iOS accounted for as many as 1/3rd of Fortnite players, or around 116 million players.
Epic also stated that, according to their own statistics, at least 63% of these players only play on an iOS device. Furthermore the numbers tracked to September 2nd revealed there has been a 60% drop in the number of Fortnite players playing on the iOS version of the game in the wake of Apple removing it from the App Store.
This suggests that Fortnite might have lost much more than one of half a dozen ways to play the game, it lost the ability to monetize a third of its player base and possibly lost millions of players who have made the decision to move on from the game.
Epic acts fast to recover its losses
With these numbers in mind, it becomes much clearer why Epic chose now to file another injunction against Apple, however it is uncertain if Fortnite will ever truly recover from this fight.
Epic likely isn’t ready to move on from Fortnite, but they may see this as a way to create an environment in the long term which they can more easily benefit from. Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games, may well be pursuing this for idealistic reasons, but I doubt he could have convinced the company to go along with it unless there was an expectation of financial gain.
Nevertheless, it’s entirely possible that Epic might have gone too far with this. We won’t know for certain until this legal fight plays out, however.