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Epic Games recently put its Fortnite project into an early access phase across PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game didn't really make waves as a build-and-fight tower defense title, but after adding the free-to-play Battle Royale mode, the company has seen a major uptick in players, proving the new mode is quite popular.
The tweet was posted over on the official Fortnite Twitter account, where Epic confirmed that more than 1 million players have dipped into the free mode in Fortnite.
When the game first entered into early access it did so with very little fanfare and not a whole lot of hoopla. Gamers seemed to take to the title with lukewarm appreciation, and very little else. We didn't hear much about the open-world survival game for much after its release, other than that it was receiving the typical updates here and there from Epic.
However, once the Battle Royale mode was made live, it seems a lot of people, now, can't stop talking about Fortnite. I suppose it also helps that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' developer Bluehole Studios made a bit of spectacle out of the mode by talking to video game press about Epic's new mode being added to Fortnite and how the studio was leery that perhaps Epic may have been using PUBG's success as a jump-start to include a similar mode in its own game.
The thing to keep in mind, however, is that the Battle Royale mode in Fortnite is free. Gamers are able to head to the official website and play-test the mode separate from the standard scavenge-and-survive mode that's available in the early access version of the title. So, I'm sure a ton of gamers simply took up Epic on the opportunity to dive into the game since they wouldn't be losing anything by doing so.
What we don't know is how many people have actually paid for the premium version of Fortnite's early access run. Also, keep in mind that the game may be available on PS4, Xbox One and on PC, but it's not available through Steam. So there's a huge market of more than 100 million gamers that Epic is missing out on by not having it on Valve's digital distribution service.
Then again, things may change when it comes time for the game to officially launch next year as a free-to-play title once it exits from early access. It appears a good part of its success may be dependent on how well Epic maintains the Battle Royale feature.
If you were interested in giving it a go you can do so right now. The features are somewhat bare minimum at the moment, but you can still build, shoot, craft and fight to your heart's content and have fun either in the solo mode or in the squad modes.
Also, expect Epic Games to give the Battle Royale feature in Fortnite a lot more attention now that it's reached over 1 million players.