Epic Games released Fortnite Battle Royale beta version just hours ago on iOS through an invite only, but that didn’t stop the title from climbing to the top position. The mobile version of the hit game is already at the top of the Free Apps chart for games on the App Store.
The fact that an invite is required to play the beta version of the game makes this achievement a rare event in the history of mobile games. It is not known if any other invite-only game has achieved such status in the past. The invitations will reach more people in the days to come. So, one can expect the game to retain the top spot for a while at least.
The Android version of the game will be released in the months to come. However, Epic has not made it clear if there would be a beta version for the same. The Fortnite mobile version is almost the same as those on the console and PC, and will support optional cross-play with other platforms.
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Overall, across all the categories, Fortnite is at the second spot in the U.S. In Canada, it is at the third position, while in the U.K it has bagged the fifth spot. Apple shows the download rates data, hinting most downloads occurred during a certain period over the last day. But the data does not suggest that the Fortnite mobile version is the most downloaded game of all time, notes VentureBeat.
Talking further of its popularity, just last night, hip-hop artist Drake played Fortnite on the live-streaming platform Twitch with star player Ninja. The broadcast went viral and was the top trending topic on Twitter across the globe. Talking further of its popularity, Google search volume for Fortnite surpassed that of Minecraft and Bitcoin in the recent week.
Just last month, Epic Games stated that at one point 3.4 million people were playing the game at the same time making it the biggest PC/console game in the world. Back in January, Epic Games stated that more than 45 million people have already played the game worldwide. Additionally, Fortnite has also topping the “most played” charts for Microsoft’s Xbox One console and is the most popular game on Twitch as well.
Top streamers such Ninja, Shroud and Dr. DisRespect are all playing Fortnite. Ninja even mentioned to one of the Forbes contributors that he would soon make more than $500,000 a month streaming “Fortnite” on the platform. Financial analysts, however, are a little concerned about the large gaming companies, which will have to do more to match the popularity of Fortnite.
“We believe the strong growth of Fortnite creates tactical risk to the video game publishers and could limit potential upside to consensus numbers,” said KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Evan Wingren, according to CNBC. Further, the analyst noted that the battle royale game is growing the overall gaming total addressable market, but there could be some cannibalization coming.
In September, Epic Games first rolled over the free-to-play “Battle Royale” mode for Fortnite on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Mac. At the time, critics termed it as a copy of PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, the game that left gamers spellbound pretty much throughout last year.
On the PC, Fortnite has some good competition like Player Unknown’s Battleground (PUBG). Fortnite has, however, toppled PUBG thanks to its free-to-play, no upfront cost business model, lower hardware requirements and fewer cheats along with a more casual character that suits the mindset of the young gamers, notes CNBC.
Fortnite is free to play across the platforms, but that is not the only reason behind its success. It has a super active team that keeps on adding something new to the title. One week it could be seasonal events and the next there could be a new area added to the map along with new items and guns, thus keeping the excitement of the players on edge. Over the past several weeks, the team has added the silenced pistol, silenced submachine gun, minigun, handgun and so on.
Everything is working in favor of Epic following the release of the mobile version. The game has hit the top spot on iOS and, as well, the developer got free-of-cost publicity from the popular hip-hop artist. After establishing its supremacy on the console, the Fortnite developer aims to repeat the same success on the mobile platforms as well. And, it has surely got a great start.