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‘Fortnite’ Logs 3.2 Billion Hours Played in April

Epic Games’ ”Fortnite“ now counts over 350 million registered players

“Fortnite” saw players spend over 3.2 billion cumulative hours of play in April, developer Epic Games said Friday.

Epic also said that the game now has over 350 million registered players.

Recent in-game events like a virtual Travis Scott concert have driven up “Fortnite” participation and are signs of Epic Games’ deliberate effort to keep fans online. The Travis Scott concert counted 12.3 million global viewers in its first day — which Epic said was a record for online event participation but was quickly eclipsed by a grand total of over 27 million users.

Epic is hosting another in-game concert it calls Party Royale beginning tonight, featuring virtual music sets from electronic DJs Deadmau5 and Steve Aoki.

“Fortnite” launched in 2017 as a free battle royale-style shooter and survival game. The game’s large-scale multiplayer matches and bright graphics (which make it ideal to watch on streaming services like Twitch) were what originally boosted its popularity. The game is now played by numerous professional gamers, culminating in an annual Fortnite World Championships — which was canceled for the first time this year because of the pandemic.

“Due to the limitations of cross region online competition, there will not be a Fortnite World Cup in 2020,” Epic said, noting that it will instead hold regular Cash Cups, competitive matches for amateur players offering cash prizes.

Talent holding company Endeavor, a minority investor in Epic Games, announced earlier this week it is looking to sell part of its stake in the game developer and sources close to the matter said Endeavor ia selling in part because its own budget is tightening. As Epic and “Fortnite” continue to grow, it remains to be seen who will look to obtain a (possibly extremely lucrative) slice of the company.