According to new data released by YouTube Gaming, Fortnite was the fifth most watched game on YouTube in 2020, with over 67 billion views.
Fortnite trails behind other massively popular online games like Minecraft (201 billion views), Roblox (75 billion views), Garena Free Fire (72 billion views), and Grand Theft Auto V (70 billion views). One thing left unanswered, however, is whether or not Fortnite is expected to retain these high numbers next year.
How did Fortnite get 67 billion views on YouTube?
Fortnite earned its place in the top five through its engaging gameplay, massive fanbase, and cultural saturation. Epic’s development model with Fortnite relies on an ever flowing stream of content provided to the player, with new maps, new weapons, new game modes, updates, vehicles, and more.
This content keeps players involved in the game, either playing it, grinding for V-Bucks to get more of it, or watching it online. On YouTube, Fortnite content can range from streams to videos discussing strategy, community drama, patch notes, game modes, buffs, nerfs, bugs- really anything at all about the game.
Of course, the depth of content alone wasn’t enough to earn these high numbers. Part of the reason the game is so engaging is that its fanbase has grown to massive heights over the years.
It’s fair to say that for Fortnite the gameplay came first and the depth came second, with Epic constantly working to freshen the Fortnite gameplay loop. This is why players come back to the game season after season, if only just to check out what’s new.
And lastly, Fortnite has achieved a level of cultural saturation which is unfortunately difficult to appreciate during the pandemic. Prior to lockdown, it was common to see Fortnite merchandise while out shopping, or hear people of all ages talking about the game or wearing Fortnite themed shirts.
Simply by making the game easily identifiable, Fortnite has been able to generate an online presence most games never reach.
Will Fortnite be able to maintain these high numbers?
One crucial change that happened in 2020 is that Epic took its feud with Apple up a notch, resulting in Fortnite being pulled from the Apple App Store. With the game no longer available on iOS devices, it’s believed that Fortnite lost as much as a third of its total player base in the span of a month.
Even for a game like Fortnite, this is a big hit, and the shockwaves have been felt all over the internet. It’s believed that the deluge of players leaving Fortnite were responsible for other games seeing significant surges in their popularity.
Going into a new year following a hit like that will no doubt weaken Fortnite’s overall online standing. Fans will have to wait another 12 months to find out just how significant it really was.
Published 09 Dec 2020, 01:41 IST