We have always known that Epic’s Fortnite is massively popular, but now the developer has quantified the game’s success. In less than a year, the game has reached a staggering 125 million players, the studio said in a blog post. It is not clear how this figure breaks down between the paid Save the World game and Battle Royale, but no doubt Battle Royale is more popular.
The announcement came at E3 2018 this week during the Fortnite Pro-Am that saw big-name streamers paired up with celebrities to play the game. As part of this, Epic also announced more details on the $100 million Fortnite eSports funding that it announced in May.
For the inaugural 2018-2019 season, Epic said the $100 million will support “community organized events, online events, and major organized competitions all over the world, where anyone can participate, and anyone can win.”
Qualifiers for what Epic is calling the Fortnite World Cup will begin this fall, with the finals to be held in 2019. The World Cup will focus primarily on Solo and Duos, though Epic said there will be Squad opportunities as well.
In what sounds like shade Epic is throwing at Activision Blizzard, Epic said the Fortnite World Cup is for the players and the players alone. “Qualifications for the Fortnite World Cup will be based on merit. Epic will not be selling teams or franchises, and won’t allow third-party leagues to do so either,” Epic said.
For comparison, Activision Blizzard charges teams substantial fees in the millions of dollars just to create an Overwatch League team. Activision Blizzard also makes money by selling the Overwatch League rights to networks; Twitch reportedly paid $90 million for Overwatch League broadcasting rights.
With its $100 million investment in Fortnite competitive play, Epic is helping ensure that Fortnite remains popular, not that there was any doubt that it would.