Fortnite may be the current champion within the battle royale genre, but it still has a considerable way to go to overtake Minecraft; a game that continues to grow despite being released in 2009, and acquired by Microsoft in 2014.
According to PSGamesn, August became Fortnite’s biggest month ever in terms of total player count, reaching an impressive number of 78.3 million. However, that number falls nearly 13 million players shy of Minecraft, which – according to Microsoft – maintains a count of 91 million active players per month.
In terms of overall downloads, Minecraft also holds the lead with over 150 million copies sold, compared to Fortnite’s 125 million. Obviously, Minecraft has virtually had a ten-year sales head start, but there is nothing to indicate that those numbers are falling or even slowing down.
Much of the on-going success of Minecraft can be attributed to its community, who are incredibly active and passionate about the game and the worlds that they create and share. The casual aspect of the game allows for players to explore, create, and destroy their surroundings without any real objective to complete, other than those that players come up with themselves. Mods and community-driven custom game modes offer other ways of playing the game, including more competitive or co-op gameplay modes.
Microsoft is fully aware of the community-driven approach for maintaining Minecraft’s continued success, so much so that they see no need for a Minecraft 2-type of sequel.
“I don’t think there’s really a need for Minecraft 2,” Mojang creative lead, Jens Bergentsen, told Business Insider in an interview. “You would be able to create a Minecraft 2 game in Minecraft.”
Will Fortnite eventually see the same success that Minecraft has? In the short-term: most likely. Especially as more players join up for Fortnite’s recent Season 6 release. Add on the fact that now, PlayStation users will be able to play with their friends on other consoles, and Fortnite seemingly has a recipe for growth and success.
However, the meteoric rise in popularity of the battle royale genre could be a cause for concern in the long-term; not to mention more games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 adding similar game modes that will ultimately saturate the market. The genre is arguably the current flavor of the time, but how long can the genre truly sustain itself?