“The End” of Fortnite Marks More Than Just a New Chapter
On October 13th, millions of screens around the country went black as Fortnite servers went offline for its “The End” event, which marked the end of Chapter 1 Season 10. This was the first time in the game’s history that the servers were taken offline in such a manner, and it caused a lot of commotion. Gamers’ emotions ran high around the country as they waited with no word from Epic Games on when Fortnite would be back online. During this downtime, the internet exploded with discussion around what was happening, when the servers would be back online, and speculation about what would change. Fortnite finally came back online on October 15th and with it, Chapter 2 Season 1.
For most companies, taking a game offline for a few days would be considered a bad strategy, but since Fortnite is so popular, it managed to have the inverse effect. The widespread discussions brought Fortnite to the forefront of everyone’s minds, and as a result, increased interest to levels the game hadn’t seen before.
According to Epic Games, over 7 million gamers around the world watched “The End” at some point during its duration. The event was so successful at generating buzz for the game that October 13th became the day with the highest peak viewership Fortnite had ever had on Twitch – peak concurrent viewership for the game was over 1.6 million. Additionally, the game had more search interest on Google that week than it had in any week prior. By all accounts, this was a very successful marketing effort by Epic Games, though such a tactic would be trickier to replicate for anyone not in a market-leading position.
While Fortnite dominated online discussions in October, League of Legends held dominance over the competition in terms of total Twitch viewership thanks to its 2019 Season World Championship. Viewership for the game was nearly double that of Fortnite throughout the month, thanks to the ongoing tournament which lasted from October 2nd to November 10th. Grand Finals on November 10th peaked with over 1.7 million viewers, even higher than Fortnite’s peak during its “The End” event. This also happened to be the highest peak of all time for League of Legends on Twitch. It’s a good reminder that although League of Legends doesn’t often show up on the front page of industry news in the same manner as Fortnite, it is silently growing and maintaining its industry leadership position, especially with respect to esports.