Fortnite Seems To Be Overtaking PUBG 

For a long time, the love affair between PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Twitch looked as though it was meant to last. The blockbuster survival shooter captured the hearts of Twitch's biggest streamers all through 2017, and, in August, finally dethroned Twitch mainstay League of Legends in the "most hours watched" category (73.7 million to 71.9). Now, Battlegrounds is officially on the downswing. There's a new survival shooter in town - Fortnite Battle Royale - and it's kicking the crap out of its glitchy predecessor, Battlegrounds.

TwitchMetrics, which pulls data directly from Twitch, puts Fortnite's average weekly concurrent Twitch viewership around 139,000, with Battlegrounds' hovering at about 64,000. To anyone paying attention, Fortnite's viewership numbers just about double Battlegrounds'.

Arguably the site's top streamer, Ninja, is dominating Twitch with his Fortnite stream, which garners thousands of viewers every day. Between late February and early March, he earned himself a plush 50,000 new subscribers. In recent months, huge streamers such as Grimmmz and Summit1G, who drew in hundreds of viewers every night playing Battlegrounds, have instead been focusing on Fortnite.


Fortnite is the most popular game on Twitch right now, which feels jarring, since Battlegrounds finally saw a full release in December, with a new map to boot. A few things are contributing to Battlegrounds' slow demise on the platform that popularised it in the first place. Battlegrounds is glitchy. It isn't uncommon to get kicked out of a match for apparently no reason. It's also overrun by cheaters (in January alone, Battlegrounds publisher Tencent banned one million accounts).

The game thrived on Twitch because it was enchanting to watch streaming personalities weave together narratives from Battlegrounds' chaotic gameplay, but when factors such as server stability added to that chaos, staying tuned could get a little frustrating. The game's top streamer, Dr Disrespect, was known to rage-quit streams after encountering Battlegrounds' numerous glitches. Lately, he's been dipping his toe in Fortnite, too.

It's hard to say whether Fortnite is more interesting to watch, but it's definitely more accessible to viewers. Fortnite is free, as opposed to $US30 ($38), and beat Battlegrounds to console - significantly, to PS4, which has not yet seen a Battlegrounds release. Fortnite Battle Royale is also less demanding on PCs than Battlegrounds, which requires a pretty high-end rig to run well.

Last month, Fortnite's peak concurrent players across PC and console beat out Battlegrounds' Steam-breaking PC record (3.4 million across all consoles to 3.2 million on Steam - and although we don't have Battlegrounds' Xbox peak concurrent player count, we know that in January, three million players played it). Ever since, Battlegrounds' playerbase has been on the decline.

Even if we didn't have the numbers, the mainstream narrative that Fortnite is crushing Battlegrounds is bolstered by celebrity plugs. Famous people such as Chance the Rapper, Joe Jonas and JuJu Smith-Schuster have all publicly acknowledged they play the game.

Mainstream media outlets such as Good Morning America have covered the game's "viral" popularity among kids, and last week, the show aired a segment attempting to answer the question of whether Fortnite is too addictive for kids. The Guardian has attempted to answer the same question.

As we've reported, teachers across the US are hearing their students talking about Fortnite all the time. Just last month, we reported that Ohio high school students won a bet against their chemistry teacher and got him to make their final exam about Fortnite Battle Royale.

As Epic Games continues to release new content for players at a brisk pace, Fortnite's longevity on looks pretty secure for now.


    Seems? It is a free to play vs a paid title.

    Fortnite is also a much more accessible to casual audiences, with a skill floor that allows anyones grandparents to at least pop up walls as they advance/withdraw and aiming mechanics that don't punish you anywhere near as much as PUBG.

    It is sort of apples and oranges; or if you will League to Dota.

      F2P seems like it would matter more to player count than viewer count. Personally I don't enjoy the genre all that much but I found Fortnite a lot more entertaining to watch than PUBG.

        Not much of a fan either.
        I've noticed though when talking about coverage and highlights, Fortnite seems to be crazy trick shots and fast paced shenanigans while PUBG seems to be mostly people dying to janky mechanics and buggy weirdness.

        Plus that kids demographic is always massive, it's nearly up there with the Minecraft phenomenon.

          Both points are accurate, but more than that PUBG sucks to watch because the game favors hiding over engagements; which means mid game at high level is a bunch of people attempting to not engage if possible.

          It is fundamentally always going to be a bad game to watch because match pacing is designed poorly.

          PUBG is better on YouTube where a match can be edited to cut out the dull dull bits.
          Only watched a couple streams and it's usually dull till it gets down to about 30 left.

      You're totally right but i'm stunned to see someone using two MOBA games as an alternative to an apples vs. oranges comparison.

        Seemed a lot more appropriate in terms of skill sets and mechanical differences.

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    As an Xbox one owner, Fortnite is the far superior experience. I own both and I barely play PUBG.

    Played fortnite battle Royale for first time yesterday.
    Very fun. The building mechanics kinda suck though. What is the point?
    Also, why can’t you drive cars?

      Because the game offers a lot less "hard cover" than other shooters, therefor building is way more important?

      Can't tell if that's sarcasm or not, but building pretty much IS the point! It adds massively to the strategic elements of the game, introduces the key concept of verticality, and means every end game is a little different.

      You will get further in this game as a good builder than you will as a good shooter. Source: Me, confirmed terrible builder (and shooter). I greatly suck at this game, but it's a real blast.

      Give the game another crack - try to land somewhere quiet, find a few guns, then harvest materials and practice building boxes with a staircase. Wood is good for quick battles, brick good for end game, steel good for key panels (e.g the ones facing the people shooting at you).

      The cars thing is probably due to the map being smaller overall. There's also a few faster travelling options in the game such as jump pads and rocket riding. Jetpacks are on the way though.

    Not to encourage the pay to play concept... Buy pve (totally different) and you will get much better at building for battle Royale.

    Or like me get addicted to pve and barely play Royale - the amount of detail in the rpg-like systems of pve is insane, made the move over with a few friends and took days to weeks to understand the multitude of sub-menus and what you can do to unlock weapon evolutions through to survivor and mutli hero stakcs and the skill and research systems.

    If epic continues like they seem to be the full release has some very large scale potential as an all timer.

    Last edited 11/03/18 2:47 pm

      The PvE is great, agreed. I just wish there were more people playing regularly. I played a lot over Dec/Jan - but around lvl 22 or thereabouts, I found it very difficult to get matchmade in games that would progress my main questline. I've hoped that Epic may try to spotlight the PvE more, or offer some enticement to bring BR players over, but besides some minor tweaks here and there (why no 4k on PvE?) they hardly even advertise the fact that about 20 hours of PvE will net you around 4000 vbucks (spendable in BR too) - so it basically covers the cost of buying PvE mode.

      Agreed, it's a great mode that will increase your Fortnite skillset, and it's criminally underrated.

        I fully expect to hear that the PVE mode has been abandoned by the developers (or rather, put, 'in maintenance mode') later this year.

    Fortnite isn't my game (far too casual for my liking), but its good to see people rewarding a polished game over the jankiness that is PUBG.

    I really don't get watching others play video games. Go and play one of your many unplayed Steam games that you have sitting around.

      Why watch other people act in movies and TV when you can become an actor and do it yourself, right?

      Well, from MY experience, I used to watch a lot of peeps on YouTube playing games that I COULDN'T buy because I wasn't a spoiled kid always asking my parents for money, I'd only ask them on special occasions such as birthday or Christmas to buy the games I wanted, or games on Consoles that I couldn't buy (again cuz I didn't get a small loan a million dollars), but then around 2 years ago I saved my money and finally built my own gaming rig and guess what now I barely watch gameplay videos (save when I have to decide if buying a game or not, or eSports), also when u're tired to literally do anything watching someone playing your favorite game can be quite entertaining (depending on who you're watching lol).

      I think I provided enough reasons, so I'll say this:

      Your argument is invalid, and I'll say another thing again, I barely watch peeps playing games now since I have my gaming PC (and well also because of school, movies, days only have 24 hours, etc. etc....).

    Fortnite is McDonalds.

    PUBG is your average restraunt.

    Both appeal to different audiences. The Casual audience is always bigger.

      Yeah, make a McDonalds right next to school completely free for a hour and you pretty much get to see what the Fornite servers look like.

      Except the PUBG restaurant is pretty low quality with shitty food (bugs, bugs and BUGS, oh did I forget about bugs? Yeah that's right BUGS!!!).


        No need to chuck a hissy about it mate.

    Fortnite is the better game.

    PUBG was great but unfortunately Bluehole is incompetent. As soon as someone else brings out a realistic battle royale game PUBG will be in H1Z1's shoes.

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