Epic Games' online sandbox shooter Fortnite is now the most-viewed game on YouTube, according to influencer marketing platform Matchmade.
Previously, Minecraft was the reigning YouTube champ. Matchmade estimates its views were at 3.7 billion per month a year ago. But, its viewership has apparently been declining since August 2017. Fortnite, meanwhile, reached over 2.4 billion views in February alone. It also now holds the record for the most game-related videos uploaded in a single month, according to YouTube's director of VR/AR Gaming, Ryan Wyatt.
How big is @FortniteGame on YouTube? Fortnite holds the record for the most videos related to a video game uploaded in a single month EVER. Yesterday, the Battle Royale tournament had over 42M live views, and set a record for biggest single live gaming stream @ 1.1M concurrent.— Ryan Wyatt (@Fwiz) March 26, 2018
Fortnite became a gaming sensation last year thanks to its popular Battle Royale mode. Since then, millions of players have uploaded fantastic kill shots, rocket rides, and wild comet conspiracy theories. Even celebrities like Drake and Gordon Hayward have streamed themselves playing. Epic is also doing its part to keep the community engaged. Right now, it's giving players the chance to become an emote via a dancing contest. Fortnite is also the most-watched game on streaming platform Twitch, where people have broadcasted it over nearly 4,600 channels. Matchmade says its YouTube growth is astonishing as well.
"Between January and February, Fortnite’s viewership grew a whopping 151 percent," it says. "During the past six months, the average month-to-month growth rate of Fortnite viewership on YouTube is +97 percent. Content creators are on board, and we’ve seen the number of Fortnite videos jump from 9,945 (February 1st) to 12,762 (March 1st) in just one month – an increase of 28 percent."
The game reportedly reached a cumulative one billion YouTube views in November 2017, five months after its official launch and three months after Battle Royale's release. Its closest competitor, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, took eight months to reach that milestone, according to Matchmade. It took popular mobile game Clash Royale four months. For Minecraft, it took almost two years.
Matchmade cites a few reasons for Fortnite's success, including changes to YouTube's algorithms, waning interest in older games, and its accessibility (Battle Royale is free-to-play and available on many platforms).