Is it the battle-royale, last-person-standing approach of Fortnite, or the more creative play of Minecraft that has been played more often of late? Let's take a look, and see where the players are going.
Which is more popular: Fortnite or Minecraft?
The answer, it would appear, depends very much on how you choose to define it.
Fortnite seems to make more money, and has more concurrent users than Minecraft. But Minecraft has a larger total user base, and an enormous number of those who play it on a regular basis, alongside having being able to maintain its popularity for almost 10 years.
It's safe to say that they are both hugely popular games, and we don't see that changing any time soon.
Here's a deeper look at each games' player count.
Fortnite player count
Released in 2017 by Epic Games, Fortnite has rapidly become one of the most popular games in the world, securing over 10 million players in just two weeks after release.
To say it has been lucrative for Epic would be something of an understatement. In 2018 and 2019, Fortnite generated over $9 billion in revenue, while in 2020 it added a further $5.1 billion. Compare that to the $500 million or so that other parts of the business generated in a similar time frame, and you see just what a phenomenon Fortnite really is.
There are two different numbers to consider when looking at player numbers on Fortnite. Concurrent players, which is essentially how many people are playing the game at the same time. And total number of registered players, which is a total of every registered Fortnite account in existence.
Back in December 2020, Epic announced that they had an active player count of 15.3 million concurrent users, compared to 12.3 million in April of the same year. As of May 2020, Fortnite had over 350 million registered players. What is less clear at this point, is how the ongoing lawsuit with Apple has effected these figures, as a huge number of players would almost certainly be Apple device users. But even with that taken into account, Fortnite is absolutely huge.
Minecraft player count
Minecraft meanwhile, was released in 2011, so has been around for a decade. It proved so popular that it was acquired by Microsoft for $2.5 billion in 2014. Over the last 10 years, Minecraft has recorded worldwide sales of over 200 million units. This is in addition to the Chinese edition, which is free, and has been downloaded over 400 million times. This would potentially mean a total user base of 600 million players. This would be close to double the number of players that Fortnite has.
Minecraft generated $415 million in revenue in 2020, and had over 130 million people playing at least once a month last year. For a game that was created by one person in less than a week, that's pretty spectacular. Given that Minecraft is not set up to play in the same way that Fortnite is, concurrent users is perhaps a less relevant number for this game.
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