Is Fortnite Dying For Good?
Worrying that Fortnite might be dying is like worrying that a whale might be dying because it lost a kilogram of weight this year.
This is one of the most played games in the history of the human race, and it’s not going away any time soon.
In 2021, reports showed that the Fortnite platform had around 400 million registered users. More recently, other reports have suggested that the game is played by at least several million people at any given time.
What that in mind, we explore the question: is Fortnite dying? Or rather, is Fortnite starting to decline?
When Will Fortnite Die?
What is currently happening to Fortnite can be compared to what happened to the prize pool of Dota 2’s world championship, called The International, in 2022.
In 2021, the event raised more than $40 million dollars, more than 95% of which came from the Dota 2 community.
This community has around 10 million people. This means that, on average, everyone gave around $4 dollars to fund this one tournament.
Relative to the general statistics, which show that esports enthusiasts, on average, spend very little money on their favorite games per year, this was a huge amount.
There was simply nowhere else to go but down. The community had reached a phenomenal peak that blasted the record of almost every other esport.
So, in 2022, when around $19 million was raised for the prize pool of The International, people felt like it was a huge failure.
They feared the game was dying in spite of the fact that Dota 2 had more than 500.000 average concurrent players at the time.
The feeling that a game is “finally dying” even though it has millions of active players on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis springs from people’s false perceptions of reality.
In reality, Fortnite is probably slowly declining because it simply cannot eat up the entire gaming industry.
There are roughly 3 billion people on this planet playing video games. Fortnite is estimated to have between 250 and 500 million players.
That amount is absolutely staggering, especially when there are so many other great games other there that people should experience.
Fortnite might die in 10-20 years if Epic Games make a lot of bad decisions or if something spectacularly good gets released in the coming years. But it’s still unlikely.
Images courtesy of Epic Games
Games That Endure
Some games die pretty quickly, even if they’re amazing at first, because the players exhaust them. After a while, there’s nothing new to experience.
A perfect example of this is Elden Ring, which sold tens of millions of copies and lasted less than a year.
The game was released in February 2022. By November of that year, it had less than 25.000 average concurrent players.
Meanwhile, Skyrim is still played by a lot of people more than a decade after its release.
What makes a game endure is its replayability. Fortnite, like other competitive games, has all the ingredients to withstand the test of time.
The Counter-Strike series has been around for more than 20 years and it’s currently thriving. League of Legends and Dota 2 have also been around for more than a decade and they’re doing fine.
When games die, it’s because nobody is taking care of them and nothing’s happening at the community level. There are no big tournaments, no announcements, and no patches.
A company like Epic Games is smart enough to avoid these mistakes. Its player base is currently satisfied with the Fortnite experience and seasons change quite frequently.
This keeps people guessing what will happen next. There are still hopes that in the coming years, Fortnite will improve a lot as an esport and will feature dozens of big events each year.
It already does that to some degree, as we saw in 2022. There were lots of tournaments with prize pools between $100,000 and $1,000,000.
In some cases, even more money was available for a single event. These are all good signs. To say that Fortnite is dying when FNCS: Chapter 3 Season 3 – Grand Finals EU offered $1.3 million in prizes and was watched by millions of people is completely mistaken.
Fortnite’s Slow Decline
Fortnite might be declining at the moment simply because some of its biggest personalities, including people like Ninja, have decided to move on to something else.
After a while, people start to feel like they want to do more in their gaming careers than simply playing one game, especially if they’re not the best in the world at it.
People like Ninja and Tfue became famous thanks to their Twitch profiles and, to some degree, tournament results. But they weren’t the kind of people to stick around for 10 years.
They just took the opportunity provided by the game’s enormous popularity and after a certain point, the money they were making from it (and it was a huge amount) no longer made sense to them.
It was just numbers going up while their ability to enjoy themselves doing what they were doing was no longer there.
Why Fortnite Will Likely Maintain Its Player Base
When a gaming community reaches a certain level, and Fortnite has certainly passed that point a long time ago, anyone who plays video games will hear about it at some point.
Since people tend to treat gaming as an opportunity to socialize and collaborate with others, if some of your good friends play Fortnite, it’s almost impossible to not start playing the game as well.
Right now, Fortnite is like a massive black hole. Anything that comes close to it will be drawn into its vortex. Even people who never played Fortnite have heard about it and are likely to give it a try at some point if they’re serious gamers.
Another reason why Fortnite is likely to remain popular is that the younger generation is naturally drawn towards its visual design.
Other games look quite serious. When you play CS:GO or even PUBG, the game feels realistic. Fortnite is cartoonish and enjoys being that way.
This game was clearly designed to be played by 12-14-year-olds, just like League of Legends. When a game captures the imagination of large groups of people while they are still very young, its success is guaranteed.
It’s always harder to learn something completely new than to continue doing what you’ve been doing for the past several years.
This is why people don’t generally go from Fortnite to PUBG or from Valorant to CS:GO. If you enjoy doing something, there’s no real motivation to make a big change.
All of these reasons make Fortnite a game that will likely be around even in 2050. Of course, we can’t foresee how it will change over the next 10 years and how its community will react to those changes.
However, it’s clear that unless Epic Games does something catastrophically stupid, Fortnite will never lose its entire audience.