Interviews & Opinion

Why streamers are flocking to Epic's smash hit Fortnite battle royale game

Why streamers are flocking to Epic's smash hit Fortnite battle royale game

While Playerunknown's Battlegrounds was the gaming phenomenon of 2017, another battle royale epic has been silently on the rise.

Epic Games' Fortnite began as a sandbox survival game. In September 2017 Fortnite saw the addition of it's own battle royale mode to rival PUBG.

The wild success of PUBG inspired a few games to take the battle royale road but none of them were able to ride the wave.

Fortnite is shaping up to be a different story. 

More than 40m people have played Fortnite and it's become inherently more popular to watch than PUBG, taking the top spot on most streaming platforms. 

The current success of Fortnite is launching a number of influencers up to stardom too. Take Ninja for example; back in September the streamer had just over 500k followers on Twitch. Six months later, he's surpassed three million and is now the leading streamer on the platform. His YouTube channel is also closing in on five million subs too. 

This week, Ninja streamed Fortnite with Drake, crushing the previous record for most concurrent viewers on a Twitch stream.

It's not just the popularity of Fortnite that is causing the game to have the edge over PUBG. We spoke to some Twitch streamers about why they prefer playing the casual, craft-based shooter.

Competitive edge with a fun twist

Fortnite is more casual in nature, which makes it easier for new players to jump straight in to the madness. However, it does still remain fun to play whether players are just hopping in for a bit of fun or they plan to play competitively.

"I definitely prefer streaming Fortnite to PUBG, personally I find the gameplay to be more engaging and prefer the pace of Fortnite," Twitch streamer Leahviathan told

"There’s usually action happening from start to finish due to the smaller map and decreased loot (no need to loot for gun attachments or helmets - you can just jump straight into the combat).

"I also find the higher capacity for shenanigans in Fortnite to be much more fun, there are so many ways to engage an enemy through the in-game items (like the Impulse nades, jump pads and variety of weapons) and the building mechanics that reward skilled players.

"Whilst it has a more ‘casual’ feel to the game there’s still the opportunity to outskill and outplay your opponents to lessen the brutality of the RNG aspect of the game. Combined with regular game updates, theres a the perfect storm for streamers and viewers to have a fun, exciting experience.

"PUBG has its place as a highly tactical and skilled gunplay based game, but for me Fortnite retains the competitive edge with a fun twist that makes it less frustrating and more rewarding to play."

Leah streams Fortnite regularly

Appeals to a larger audience

Streamer ArtyFakes says Fortnite is ideal for streaming because she feels it attracts a bigger audience compared to PUBG.

"I love how easy the game is to pick up but still tons to grow with the building aspect if you want to get really good. The lobby time is no wait at all, and the skin and dance emotes just make it all the more enjoyable."

Performance issues

PUBG relies on precision, and the game's early days were buggy and janky. Fortnite's launch meanwhile has been relatively smooth by comparison.

"For me it was performance issues and artistic preference. PUBG was riddled with bugs in it's earlier days, the one that pushed me way in particular was the slow or failing interactions," Yogscast streamer Martyn Littlewood told us.

"Whether it was trying to pick up loot or open doors in a hurry, I'd always be halted and usually end up dead as a result. I needed a game that could keep up with the pace of action I wanted and Fortnite did that from day one.

"Also, building. My god is building fun to do and play against. On top of that I've always had a preference towards more 'arcadey' shooters and vibrant colors as opposed to realism.

"To top it all off the pace of Fortnite from an events, items and map updates perspective is super exciting, there's literally something new to try out every week. Epic got it right!"


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.