Image via Epic Games

Is Fortnite a dead game in 2023?

Is it really dead or are people overreacting?

Fortnite is a free-to-play battle royale that was first released in 2017 as a co-op third-person survival game under the name Fortnite: Save the World. After its release, the battle royale game mode quickly grew in popularity, with 10 million players joining the game in the first two weeks of its release. Over the years, Fortnite grew in popularity even more, with the game peaking in 2021 with an incredible 83.3 million monthly active users, according to Bussiness of Apps.

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However, this doesn’t give players an accurate current count of players in the game in 2023 until Epic Games added a new feature that does just that. Here’s all the information you need to know about whether or not Fortnite is a dead game in 2023.

Is Fortnite dying in 2023?

On March 29, 2023, Epic Games added a feature that would show the current player count in all the levels across the entire game, including those made by Epic. Thanks to this, players have an idea of how successful Fortnite is at any one time. According to recent reporting from Dot Esports, the current player count sits somewhere above a million, even during slow periods.

This is far from a dying game, with these numbers being the players’ first official look at how many players are in Fortnite at one time. If players want the exact number at any given time, they’ll likely have to add up every single Creative map, which could take hours. It seems like Fortnite is as strong as ever, with players from across the world still logging in each week to test it out.

Why do Fortnite players believe the game is dying?

A Fortnite character riding a motorcycle.
Screengrab via Epic Games

Despite Fortnite’s incredible numbers, there’s a large part of its community that doubts the game will once again see its glory days, similar to Chapter two’s success that didn’t only bring in a bunch of new players but also had a terribly interesting meta full of chaos and excitement.

There are different reasons why some players refer to it as a dead game, with some answers being more understandable than others. To start, the game isn’t anywhere near where it peaked during Covid in 2021 when it supposedly reached 83 million. That paired with the first generation of streamers and esports competitors leaving the game, has many disappointed.

At which point fans of these people will blame Epic Games, stating that any new changes outside of Chapter One were awful, and that’s why it’s a “dead game.” By this, they simply mean that because Epic made changes and their favorite content creator stopped, the game isn’t as good. However, recent numbers show that Fortnite is still pulling considerable amounts of players each day.

Others have genuine concerns with the game, such as exclusivity problems and the constant influx of partnered IPs, but these typically come from fans of the game. This has caused some players to leave, unfortunately. Of course, not everywhere is the same, with Brazil recently celebrating the most Fortnite players it’s ever had at the start of Chapter Four.

The reality of Fortnite

Image via Epic Games

Although there are more than a handful of indicators pointing to the idea that Fortnite is dead in 2022, the game has been thriving thanks to the growing number of new players coming to the game and veteran players returning to the game. On top of that, Epic regularly updates the game to spice up the current meta.

The game is constantly improving with each new iteration of Unreal Engine 5, as well, as promising new visuals and gameplay enhancements that are exciting to players. While Fortnite could still continue to lose players, these new changes seem to be appealing to even old players of the game.

Players are returning to the game 

One of the biggest selling points of Fortnite has been Zero Build. Since its release on March 29, 2022, Zero Build has brought back big names like Turner “Tfue” Tenney, Herschel “Dr Disrespect” Beahm, and Tyler “Ninja” Blevins after they quit the game largely because of burnout.

Thanks to Zero Build becoming a permanent mode in Fortnite, the streamers fell in love with the game once again. And since the streamers play an immense role in the game’s community, it’s no surprise they rekindled the love for the game in many long-lost fans. On top of all of that, Fortnite has, with the introduction of Zero Build, become a more noob-friendly game that doesn’t demand you practice for hours and hours. 

Epic regularly updates the game to keep the meta interesting

Epic regularly balances and updates Fortnite so the meta won’t become stale and mundane. In other words, every week, Epic launches at least a minor update vaulting and unvaulting the weapons or tweaking the numbers. For example, with the beginning of Chapter three, season four on Sept. 18, we’ve seen Port-a-Bunker make their first appearance in Zero Build, drastically shifting the meta and making it obligatory to have this utility item in your inventory, especially in the late game. Although these changes seem minor, every change—no matter how small and insignificant it may seem—has a large impact on the meta. Thanks to Epic’s constant efforts, the game constantly has a splash of freshness to it that prevents the game from feeling boring.

Fortnite has never been in a better state visually and content-wise

On top of regular balancing updates, Epic frequently launches new cosmetics, quests, and other similar content so you always have something to do in the game. Since it’s difficult to run out of fresh content in Fortnite, the game can keep you hooked for days with all its repeatable missions, battle passes, and hidden content on the island.

Chapter two, season seven, shipped on June 8, 2021, with a large-scale visual update that polished the visual effects, environment, and improved storm and cloud effects. Since the v17.00 update, the game has never been in a better state visually speaking because you can clearly see and hear all the most important aspects of the game, like shots, the storm closing in, and movement.

The future of Fortnite

Screengrab via Epic Games

Bearing in mind players have been surging into play Fortnite since the release of Zero Build as permanent mode and the game has never been standing better when considering the sheer number of quests, content, cosmetics, and player base statistics, it’s safe to assume Fortnite’s future is bright. There are, of course, features Epic should definitely work on, like giving more love to professional play and working on more unique game modes that give the game a fresh feel. 

Still, the game is absolutely following the natural process of video games that includes a humble launch, a sudden surge in popularity that launches the game at the top of the charts, and a steady yet dedicated community that will stop at nothing to defend and play their favorite game. Although the game has surpassed its glory days, and it probably won’t ever have the same feel to it, it’s still in a more than healthy state—and assuming Epic keeps up the good work, it will stay that way. 

In conclusion, Fortnite is far from a dead game in 2022, although the most critical members of the community proclaimed that the game’s popularity has been rapidly declining. The game has a healthy population of between 2.9 and 4 million users playing Fortnite on a daily basis. Besides that, the game has never been more friendly to new and returning players, with numerous game modes like Creative and Zero Build. Provided Epic continues working on Fortnite in the same fashion it has been for these past few years, the game definitely has a spot among the top games in the future. 


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Author
Izabela Tomakic
Staff Writer & World of Warcraft lead. Izabela has a long history with writing and games like World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Fortnite, and The Sims. Before finding her home at Dot Esports in 2021, Izabela was an English teacher and a freelancer at Hotspawn, GGRecon, and Gameranx. In her free time, you’ll find her writing novels, wandering Azeroth, or inting on Summoner’s Rift.
Author
Christian Harrison
Christian is a freelance writer of five years who's been with Dot Esports for over 15 months covering Fortnite, general gaming, and news. Some of his favorite games include Yakuza 0, The Witcher III, Kingdom Hearts 2, and Inscryption.