We were initially skeptical of Epic’s attempt to repurpose its zombie tower defense-shooter Fortnite into a battle royale mode — after all, the genre’s champion PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds sold ten million copies only six months after it launched. We shouldn’t have doubted it. Fortnite: Battle Royale just surpassed the ten-million-player milestone last weekend just two weeks after it launched.
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) October 11, 2017
Those aren’t exactly comparable metrics, since Fortnite: Battle Royale is free-to-play and PUBG retails for $30, meaning the latter has already amassed a ton of money while the latter spins up its microtransaction revenue streams. For an apples-to-apples comparison, though, Epic estimated that 3.7 million people played Fortnite: Battle Royale on Sunday, while PUBG has nearly 2 million daily players according to Steam Charts.
The new kid on the nascent ‘battle royale genre’ block is seriously challenging the reigning champ — but PUBG might not take the usurpation lying down. Its studio Bluehole loudly complained about the overt similarities between its game (released last March) and Epic’s new spin-off, and even vaguely threatened the latter in a statement when it said the company would “contemplate further action.”