Fortnite's accessibility helps it overtake PUBG in February
It appears the clash of the battle royale giants is truly on. For a while it seemed that Bluehole’s PUBG would simply steamroll anything put in its way thanks to its immense initial success. Since the game’s full release at the end of 2017 it has sold over 30 million copies and was attracting over 10 million unique viewers on Twitch. However, the relative upstart that is Fortnite Battle Royale seems to be an even greater hit in this particular genre, and in February the Epic title smacked down PUBG in both Twitch viewers and revenue.
Speculation about the reasons for Fortnite’s success have centered on the game’s accessibility and because it is a free-to-play title. PUBG is currently available to play on PC, Xbox One, and mobile, whereas Fortnite is available on those platforms and the PlayStation 4. Considering Sony has sold over 73.6 million units of its popular eighth-generation console then it makes good business sense for Epic Games to make Fortnite available for this platform. There are mentions of PUBG eventually getting ported to the PS4 but nothing has been confirmed yet.
In-game purchases have been performing well for Fortnite, which has seen its monthly revenue eclipse that of PUBG in February: US$126 million vs. US$103 million, respectively. It seems the game’s cartoonish appearance also has considerable appeal as the title from Epic overtook PUBG in total unique viewers on Twitch by mid-February and was racing away from its rival by the end of the month. These figures will likely be disconcerting for Bluehole, who feel that Fortnite Battle Royale may have emulated PUBG’s gaming experience a little too closely.