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Fortnite's free-to-play battle royale mode sees 1M day-one players

The free-to-play game mode is a new variant for Epic Games' fort building fighter Fortnite but, unlike the original, the Battle Royale mode is being offered to players for free.

Fortnite’s somewhat controversial free-to-play battle royale mode saw over 1 million players on its first day live.

The free-to-play game mode is a new variant for Epic Games’ fort building fighter Fortnite but, unlike the original, the Battle Royale mode is being offered to players for free. 

But what’s no doubt most interesting about the sheer number of players giving Fortnite Battle Royale a try is the game mode’s relationship to the record-breaking PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds game that recently put the battle royale genre on the map. 

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds dev Bluehole lashed out at Fortnite creator Epic Games via press release shortly after the addition was announced. The Korean developer seemed concerned that Fortnite was “replicating” the Battlegrounds experience, a fact Epic Games did not shy away from. The company publicly cited Battlegrounds as the inspiration for the new game mode and brought a number of familiar elements from Bluehole’s title into Fortnite’s take on the genre in the process.

The popularity of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which recently became the most concurrently played game on Steam with 1.3 million players, has no doubt inspired its fair share of developers to pen their own remix on the battle royale genre. Fortnite was one of the first major titles to do so, introducing the mode just two months after the early access launch of the original game.

While Bluehole’s original reaction to mode itself (and its threat of taking “further action” against Epic) is something that has spawned a significant amount of discussion among developers, it will no doubt be equally as interesting to both developers and players to watch how Fortnite's free-to-play battle royale mode fares from here on out. 

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