Data & Research

It's official - more people are now watching Fortnite on YouTube than Minecraft

It's official - more people are now watching Fortnite on YouTube than Minecraft

The results are in, and Fortnite is now the most popular game on YouTube, as well as Twitch.

Since it's release in 2009, Minecraft has been synonymous with YouTube Gaming, reigning over every title for almost 10 years.

Not only did it become of the biggest gaming franchises of all time, the game created success for a whole host of YouTube creators, none of which had any idea that the game was going to propel them to unknown heights.

The creators

The Yogscast is now one of the most popular gaming channels in the world, after enjoying a short stint as the biggest YouTube Gaming channel in the UK back in 2015. The group now boasts a rich roster of popular creators and regularly hosts stageshows at gaming events across the world.

Their journey began with Yogscast founders Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane, and one Minecraft series.

Not to mention YouTubers such as DanTDM, Stampy, and CaptainSparklez all have Minecraft to thank for playing a part in their rise to fame.

The Yogscast spoke about how its Minecraft coverage led to amassing seven billion views on YouTube at Pocket Gamer Connects London back in January. 

The numbers

Fortnite is now getting more views on YouTube than Minecraft. After years of being the undisputed most popular game on YouTube, Minecraft has had it's crown snatched by the battle royale epic.

Fortnite's battle royale mode dropped last September, and very quickly began to make waves in the video space.

According to data from Matchmade, Fortnite on YouTube racked up 2.4 billion views just in February. The title almost closed in on three billion views in March, while Minecraft has almost fallen down to 'mere' 1.5 billion, half of the views Fortnite is racking up.

It took Minecraft nearly two years to hit one billion views on YouTube. Fortnite managed to hit that milestone in five months.

Image: Matchmade

YouTube's head of gaming Ryan Wyatt also tweeted that Fortnite holds the record for most videos related to a title uploaded in a single month, which is some feat.

New blood

Fortnite fortune's have also helped propel creators to new heights, just as Minecraft did before it. YouTube is now much more saturated with creators which means it's harder for YouTubers to break through and be noticed than it was when Minecraft was making waves.

Back in 2009, YouTube only had a reported 18,980 active channels. By the end of 2017, there was 389,681 active channels. 

Active channels by year. Graph: Matchmade

Ninja is the prime example of Fortnite helping creators gain popularity - this retired professional Halo player is now one of the biggest creators on the planet. While he already had a sizeable following online, covering Fortnite consistently has led Ninja to become one of the fastest growing influencers of all time.

Streamers such as Dr Disrespect and LIRIK are also growing expotentially as a result of their commitment to battle royale titles.

We're also seeing YouTubers rising through the ranks out of nowhere just by making regular Fortnite content.

We spoke to a bunch of streamers a while back to find out why Fortnite was much more appealing. They cited the accessibility of the title was a big contributor, as well as the pull it naturally has compared to the likes of PUBG.

Fortnite's launch was also relatively smooth compared to how buggy Playerunknown's Battlegrounds was to begin with.

Carrying the torch

Another incredible part of the Fortnite phenomenon is that its creating a buzz for new battle royale titles without even meaning to.

Cliff Bleszinski's Boss Key Productions dropped its new battle royale title into Steam Early Access this week. While CliffyB is naturally generating traction for the title, the fact that it's a battle royale game is encouraging Fortnite streamers to give it a go.

Radical Heights was briefly the second most popular game on Twitch the day it went in to early access, and just two streamers were responsible for that.

All that remains to be seen is just how far Fortnite can go - it's unlikely that anything is set to seriously rival it anytime soon.

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Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.