Call of Duty: Warzone has been the most-watched battle royale game on Twitch since it was released on March 10, but the game’s early success over Fortnite is something we’ve seen before.
Since its release, numerous battle royales have challenged Fortnite over the course of the past two years. But after all was said and done, those challengers ended up just looking like the flavor of the month and little more.
In just about three weeks on Twitch, Warzone has racked up around 90 million hours watched, with top influencers like Dr Disrespect and Summit1g as its most-watched streamers, according to SullyGnome.com data.
But other games have done the same exact thing. When Call of Duty released its original battle royale mode in October 2018, some thought it had the potential to dethrone Fortnite and PUBG as the top battle royale game on Twitch.
The same was the case for Apex Legends in February 2019. After multiple weeks of posting more than 30 million hours watched on Twitch, EA’s game was poised to take over as the go-to battle royale title on Twitch. But somehow, Epic’s cartoonish game of constructing wooden boxes to defeat your enemy regained its status as the top battle royale in short order.
Both CoD and Apex had some of the key ingredients that could have made them hugely successful. CoD’s battle royale was attached to one of the greatest game franchises in the history of first-person shooters, with a backing from one of the world’s biggest publishers in Activision.
Apex started its time on Twitch with a full head of steam that was supported by another one of gaming’s most-known publishing companies, Electronic Arts. To add to that, EA stimulated the game’s viewership by buying ad streams for all of the top content creators on Twitch, a practice it still does for the game any time new content drops.
So what keeps people coming back to Fortnite after two years? It’s difficult to say that it’s just the new content in the game. While the game regularly comes out with new cosmetics, other games do the same.
One thing that seems to clearly help Fortnite is its regular reinvention. New seasons in Fortnite contributed to the viewership downfall of both Apex and CoD. Not only does Epic release new in-game skins and gear when a new season begins, but it also makes significant changes to the Fortnite map, weapons, and vehicles.
By making so many changes all at once, Fortnite’s seasonal resets give players a new experience every couple of months that spices up the game in a way that reels content creators back in.
The last season of Fortnite was released in February, meaning that there’s a chance for more content coming in the next month or so. Seeing how well Warzone has been doing, the next Fortnite season will be the true test for the game.