Fortnite: Battle Royale has quietly grown into a free-to-play mega-hit despite the overwhelming shadow of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Epic Games twist on the last-man-standing game multiplayer game has attracted more than two million concurrent players across the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Additionally, the developer has given a sneak peek at what new points of interest are coming with a map update later this week.
There are now more than 40 million Fortnite: Battle Royale players across all platforms, according to an Epic Games update via Eurogamer. This is 10 million player jump from December and the increased owner base has resulted in more than two million concurrent players.
For comparison, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) has 27 million owners on PC and another 3 million on Xbox One following the game's December launch into the Xbox Game Preview Program. It also crossed more than 3 million concurrent players early in January.
Much of the PUBG growth in recent months has come from China recently -- something Epic Games chose to highlight in its interview with Eurogamer.
"To put it in context," lead systems designer Eric Williamson told Eurogamer, "some of the folk around the office are saying hey, we could be the biggest Battle Royale game in the western world, which is crazy."
"Some people are saying we could be the biggest and best-played game [full stop] in the western world."
Epic Games has also released a new overhead map for Fortnite: Battle Royale that shows the five new locations added west of the river. This brings more points of interest to the western half of the map, which is currently relatively low-action open space.
Tilted Towers next to Loot Lake is perhaps the most notable. The first city in Fortnite: Battle Royale adds taller buildings than seen anywhere else on the map. This is intended to create more close quarter combat situations, according to Epic Games' interview with PC Gamer.
Another close quarter point of interest is Shift Shafts just south of Tilted Towers. This series of underground mine shafts will feature dark lighting and tight spaces.
Meanwhile, the northwest side of the Fortnite: Battle Royale map will feature Junk Junction and Haunted Hills. The far western side of the map has the upscale Snobby Shores.
The eastern half of the map is largely untouched. Epic Games did update the overhead map to make locations stand out more and make the overall map easier to read and distinguish landmarks. Moisty Mire, in particular, looks swampier.
There is currently no hard date for when Fortnite: Battle Royale will receive the updated map. Epic Games typically gives a good day warning before making major updates like this. That would put the updated map release possibly Thursday but could be Wednesday as well.