Epic Games’ newly launched Fortnite OG event has given the battle royale its highest number of concurrent players yet. The game peaked at 3.9 million players in a 24-hour period, according to the unofficial tracking website Fortnite.gg.
It’s a significant jump up from the 2.8 million that came this past August with the launch of Chapter 4, Season 4. And the reason for that spike can be owed to the return of the game’s original island from back in Chapter 1 all the way back in 2017.
Fortnite OG is intended to run until December 2, and will gradually add more elements from Chapter 1 in the coming weeks, such as in-game weapons and parts of the map. With how far Fortnite’s come since that debut chapter, the event is a good way to bring back lapsed players and reinvigorate the game’s original monetization practices.
Inside Fortnite’s long, eventful legacy
The battle royale version of Fortnite launched as a companion to the co-op game Fortnite: Save the World (prior to their eventual merging). It released not long after the popularity of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (or PUBG) and took off in a significant way over the coming years.
Both titles became so popular they led to the creation of other battle royale titles, including EA’s Apex Legends and Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Warzone. Fortnite became so popular that numerous brands (like Marvel, Star Wars, and DC) have had various crossover events, a transmedia tactic later adopted by Call of Duty.
Along with its successes, Epic’s shooter has been the subject of several controversies. The most prevalent one is Epic’s ongoing legal battle with Apple, which began in 2020 after Apple took the game off its platform due to alleged guideline breaches.
Epic later sued Apple, resulting in the latter receiving a permanent injunction stopping it from blocking links to third-party payment options. That’s yet to be the end of things for the former, which filed an appeal to the Supreme Court this past September asking to overturn the Ninth Court’s previous ruling.
Separately from all this, the studio was sued in late 2018, with rapper 2 Milly alleging an in-game dance emote infringed on his own ‘Milly Rock’ dance. Other musicians and actors (such as Scrubs’ Donald Faison) later filed their own suits, some of which were later dismissed because the Copyright Office doesn’t recognize individual dance moves.
In late 2022, Epic was fined $520 million by the FTC over concerns with its in-game shop practices. The fine was finalized earlier in the year, and part of the commission’s demands allowed players to get refunds for unwanted in-game purchases made between January 2017 and November 2018.