The stats are in. 2021 was another massive year for Epic Games and Fortnite.
In 2018, as Fortnite reached the height of its meteoric rise, there was no doubt that it was one of the most popular games in the world. It bled into every corner of pop culture, from being referenced in movies and TV shows, to Michelle Obama performing the “Orange Justice” Emote alongside Santa!
As time went by, this widespread mainstream hype inevitably began to settle down. Big name streamers started to go elsewhere, and for many casual players, it simply became too difficult to keep up with “the sweats”.
Toxicity from the community on social media and constant “dead game” comments led a lot of people to believe that Fortnite’s playerbase genuinely had taken a massive hit. However, anytime we had a chance to see the actual statistics, they told a very different story. And that’s the case once more today.
Sony has shared a blog post ranking the top-downloaded titles of 2021. The results were broken down into a few core categories, and split into US/Canada and Europe.
For the Free-To-Play (PS5 + PS4) grouping, Fortnite took first place in both US and EU. This put it above Battle Royale counterparts Call of Duty: Warzone and Apex Legends, as well as blockbusters like Rocket League and Destiny 2.
Unfortunately, PlayStation didn’t share the exact figures, so we can’t compare Fortnite’s performance against paid games such as FIFA 22 and Grand Theft Auto V. Though it would perhaps be fair to assume that in general, the top tier Free-To-Play offerings probably get the most downloads of all.
Of course, the launch of Fortnite Chapter 3 in December undoubtedly gave a huge boost to these numbers. A ton of players will have downloaded to test out the new map, even if they don’t become regulars.
Regardless, it’s safe to say that Fortnite isn’t going anywhere. With creators like Ninja and CouRageJD back on the grind, and Keemstar’s Friday Fortnite set to return soon, this may be the best spot the game has been in popularity-wise for a very long time.