Report: 30 per cent of PC gamers around the globe played a battle royale game in February

Report: 30 per cent of PC gamers around the globe played a battle royale game in February

Almost a third of 'core PC gamers' played a battle royale title in February of this year.

That's according to research firm Newzoo, which has issued a report on the burgeoning battle royale market claiming that 30.1 per cent of the PC games market were playing this sort of title last month. This 

Of that figure, 16.3 per cent of that group were playing Epic's Fortnite: Battle Royale, with 14.6 per cent going for Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, per previous reporting from the research firm

Meanwhile, 1.9 per cent of core PC gamers tried Studio Wildcard's Ark: Survival of the Fittest, with just 0.5 per cent playing H1Z1. This was shortly ahead of the latter's release from Early Access, and may well shed a light on why developer and publisher Daybreak Game Company has opted to move the game to a free-to-play model a week after the battle royale game launched out of Early Access.

Looking to the streaming market, Newzoo has taken a look at viewership data from Twitch and YouTube Gaming. In February, 17.9 per cent of the PC games market was watching Fortnite with Playerunknown's Battlegrounds claiming a 11.8 per cent share of the pie. That's 83.3m hours of viewership versus 57.2m, in case you were wondering.

H1Z1, DayZ and Ark: Survival Evolved barely pass the one per cent mark.

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds was the big dog for much of 2017, with Fortnite overtaking PUBG Corp's title at the end of January and the start of February.

In terms of individual countries, France is the leading region for Fortnite with 29 per cent of that market were playing Epic's title. Saudi Arabia, Denmark and Belgium all had player shares of 27 per cent each, while 26 per cent of Swedish core PC gamers were playing.

To the surprise of no-one, China is Playerunknown's Battlegrounds' leading market; 52 per cent of that country's PC base were playing that title, versus just one per cent for Fortnite. South Korea saw 32 per cent of its base on the title, just ahead of the 31 per cent and 30 per cent of Hong Kong and Japan's PC market who were playing the title.

Looking to the future, Newzoo says that triple-A developers are going to try and get in on the action, with images of the Call of Duty, Overwatch, Battlefield and Destiny franchises accompanying this statement.

"The battle royale format has not finished growing, with triple-A developers now racing to either implement the game mode in their titles or to launch new games fully focused on the genre," the firm said.

"While the success of the battle royale genre has surprised many publishers, the format and game mode are not hard to copy. Many publishers already have titles that can easily incorporate a battle royale game mode into their game play. For many developers, this is a much safer strategy than betting on a completely new battle royale game, and we will likely see many of them incorporate the game mode in their existing titles."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.