Epic's decision to bring back the original Fortnite island to kick off a new "Fortnite OG" event has delivered a record-breaking surge in players.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the studio said November 4, 2023, was the "biggest day in Fortnite's history with over 44.7 million players jumping in and 102 million hours of play."
Fortnite OG launched on November 3 and allows players to duke it out on the very first Fortnite map that debuted back in 2018. The event will continue to take players on a trip down memory lane, with each major update spotlighting a different phase of the battle royale shooter's past.
Within 24 hours of launching, Fortnite OG attracted 3.9 million concurrent users. That's a record high for 2023, according to unofficial tracking website Fortnite.gg, although it doesn't come close to matching the 12.3 million concurrent player record that was set in 2020 when Travis Scott hosted a virtual concert in the shooter as part of his "Astronomical" tour.
Fortnite breaks record as Epic cuts jobs
Fortnite's record-breaking weekend arrived just over a month after Epic chose to lay off around 900 staff, representing around 16 percent of the company's workforce.
As reported by Bloomberg, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney explained the cuts would allow the company to "power through" a transitional period and continue evolving Fortnite into a "metaverse-inspired ecosystem for creators."
"[Fortnite's] growth is driven primarily by creator content with significant revenue sharing, and this is a lower margin business than we had when Fortnite Battle Royale took off and began funding our expansion," explained Sweeney in an internal email. "Success with the creator ecosystem is a great achievement, but it means a major structural change to our economics."
Epic has spent years expanding Fortnite beyond its popular battle royale mode (which was originally a riff on the original co-op game Fortnite: Save the World) with a view to creating something akin to a "metaverse," but the studio has now struck gold by offering players a nostalgic sojourn back to simpler times.