One crazy statistic shows how incredibly big 'Fortnite' has become in less than a year

Ben Gilbert / Business Insider
  • “Fortnite” is dominating the world of video games.
  • Over 125 million people have played the game since it launched in July 2017, the game’s publisher announced on Tuesday.
  • Since the Battle Royale mode of “Fortnite” is free, and available on most platforms, it’s very easy to play the game.

How big of a deal is “Fortnite”? The latest statistic – over 125 million players – offers a tiny glimpse into the massive cultural impact “Fortnite” has had.

There are more “Fortnite” players than PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch owners combined.

The entire population of Mexico is about equivalent to the number of people playing “Fortnite.”

And that’s all within about 11 months, since “Fortnite” launched back in July 2017.

The game’s massively popular Battle Royale mode – a free addition to “Fortnite” modelled on the also massively popular “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” – arrived in September 2017. Since then, the game has exploded in popularity. Streamers are getting rich playing it, celebrities are getting in on it, and the game’s developer/publisher – Epic Games – is offering up $US100 million to turn the game into an eSport.

What’s unclear, given that the game costs nothing, is how much money Epic Games is making.

Fortnite (battle pass)Epic Games

Instead of paying for the game, “Fortnite” players have the choice of paying for the game’s “Battle Pass” – a system of challenges that unlock various in-game items – or outright buying items for their characters.

It’s all based on a virtual currency, known as “V-bucks,” that you earn through play (very slowly) or buy with real money. The Battle Pass above, for instance, costs “950 V-bucks” – that’s about $US9.50 in real money.

Epic Games hasn’t said anything publicly about revenue from “Fortnite.” Analytics firm Superdata estimates that Epic is making somewhere in the realm of $US300 million every month on “Fortnite,” across Xbox One, PlayStation 4, iPhone/iPad, PC, and Mac.

With the addition of Nintendo Switch support on Tuesday morning, Android support coming this summer, and a ton of tailwind, it looks unlikely that “Fortnite” will slow down anytime soon.

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