‘Fortnite’ overtakes ‘PUBG’ record with 3.4 million players at one time

Epic Games

Like two sumo wrestlers going at each other, the big multiplayer shooters continue to one-up each other with more and more players joining the fray. This time it was Epic Games’ Fortnite, which the developers boasted had beaten the record for most concurrent players previously held by PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Although Fortnite recorded 3.4 million players at one time over the weekend — besting PUBG’s previous mark, 3.2 million — the accomplishment was blemished by repeated server crashes caused by the massive number of players.

“The extreme load caused six different incidents between Saturday and Sunday, with a mix of partial and total service disruptions to Fortnite,” the company wrote. The post goes into some technical details about what caused the various outages, which involved everything from matchmaking, to account retrieval, to instant messaging, to cloud servers being overwhelmed. Basically, they got clobbered.

PC Gamer was quick to point out that the Fortnite count encompasses players on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, while PUBG’s numbers only reflect Steam players. As Epic didn’t break its numbers down by platform, it’s difficult to say who truly has the upper hand.

It’s Epic’s biggest game so far, and the company recently pulled the plug on its free-to-play MOBA Paragon, with many team members moving to Fortnite.

“It’s been an amazing and exhilarating experience to grow Fortnite from our previous peak of 60K concurrent players to 3.4M in just a few months, making it perhaps the biggest PC/console game in the world!” Epic wrote. It appears that some help is needed, however, as the blog post opens and closes with a plea for people with “domain expertise” to apply for a job at the company.

More game updates are planned for the near future, with an earlier post promising 60 FPS for all console versions later this month. Extra servers will also soon be online for West Coast and Brazilian Xbox players. Epic also announced upcoming integration with Facebook and other social networks for friend invites.

Several cosmetic updates are also in the works, with new outfits, gliders, and animations. New weapons and consumables are also mentioned, as well as the promise of different items in future updates.