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Fortnite Battle Royale attracts 1m players at launch

Epic Games' PUBG-inspired mode is already a hit ahead of full title's launch

For the all the frustration it may be causing Bluehole Studios, it seems the Battle Royale mode is attracting a strong audience for Fortnite.

The bulk of Fortnite is currently in Early Access, but Epic Games released the last-man-standing multiplayer slice for free yesterday - and within 24 hours, the mode has garnered an audience of 1m players.

Epic announced the milestone via Twitter.

The wording of the tweet doesn't offer any details on the nature of that audience, but it's a safe bet this is total users rather than concurrent users. There's also no indication whether it's led to a flood of sales for the Early Access version of Fortnite, nor is there any info on how this is split across the three platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

The game's Battle Royale mode has gained some notoriety since its announcement following complaints from Bluehole Studios, developer of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

While Battle Royale is obviously not the only game to ape PUBG's design and mechanics, Bluehole has protested that Epic Games has entered into competition with its biggest hit given the relationship between the two companies. PUBG has been developed in Epic's Unreal Engine, and Bluehole is concerned that (among other things) technical advances made for PUBG will benefit Fortnite.

The strong launch is no doubt encouraging for Microsoft, which will be bringing PUBG to Xbox One later this year. Fortnite may now present stronger competition for what is increasingly an important title in the Xbox One X launch line-up, but having a share of 1m players hungry for this type of gameplay promises good sales when Bluehole's title makes its console debut.

Yesterday, SuperData reported that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds was a key driver in the worldwide growth of the digital games market. The game has sold 10m copies since it launched back in March - an impressive feat for a title that's still in Early Access.

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