You're probably well aware by now that Fortnite: Battle Royale is the biggest game in the world. Epic Games' colorful online shooter nets 200,000 daily Twitch viewers, has more than 45 million players and raked in $223 million in revenue in March alone.
Credit: Epic Games
But if you're still not convinced that Fortnite is a true cultural phenomenon, let this sink in: if Fortnite were a website, it would be one of the top five in the United States.
Take a quick look at Alexa's list of top U.S. websites, and you'll see Google, YouTube, Facebook, Reddit and Amazon in the top five. No surprises there. But as a quick Google Trends search reveals, Fortnite has become a hotter search term than Reddit. What some might see as a flash-in-the-pan gaming fad is actually outpacing one of the web's hottest destinations.
“More people in the U.S. are searching for ‘Fortnite’ on Google than they are for ‘Reddit’ and these searches have risen sharply over the last two months," said John DeFeo, VP of Internet Marketing at Purch, Tom's Guide's parent company.
"When you consider that Fortnite had more than 3 million concurrent players in February, I believe that if Fortnite were a website, it would be among the top five in the U.S., duking it out with Reddit and Amazon.”
What this means is that, unlike so many other gaming trends, Fortnite truly seems like it's here to stay. According to Google searches, Fortnite has a ways to go to reach the staggering highs of Pokémon Go, the popular mobile game that became a huge phenomenon throughout the summer of 2016.
But Pokémon Go skyrocketed and plummeted within the span of a few months, whereas Fortnite seems to be on a steady climb as it continues to enter the mainstream.
The reasons why are pretty clear: the game is free; it's available on PCs, consoles and mobile devices; it has a vibrant, kid-friendly aesthetic, and it's constantly getting major updates and easter eggs that keep things fresh and exciting. The fact that it's being played by celebrities like Drake (who helped set a 600,000-viewer Twitch record) and pro sports teams like the Houston Astros (who do Fortnite-inspired dances after every win) certainly doesn't hurt either.
If you're a Fortnite player, this means that you can expect the game to thrive with new content and a growing player base for months -- possibly years -- to come. And even if you're not into Fortnite, you can expect its winning last-man-standing formula to influence a whole new crop of Battle Royale games, such as the 80s-inspired Radical Heights and the zombie-filled Dying Light: Bad Blood.
Fortnite fever seems like it's just getting started, and you'll likely see its footprint all over gaming (and your favorite celebrities' Twitter feeds, and in MLB stadiums) for the foreseeable future.