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Fortnite surpassed PUBG’s peak player count for the first time, but servers couldn’t keep up

We were all impressed when PUBG soared to the top of Steam’s concurrent player charts with 3.2 million players all online at once. However, it looks like Epic’s Fortnite Battle Royale is now giving it some serious competition. Over the weekend, Fortnite managed to hit 3.4 million peak concurrent players, though unfortunately the game’s servers couldn’t quite keep up.

PUBG’s concurrent player record is still impressive, particularly since the game was only available on Steam at the time. Epic’s Fortnite Battle Royale on the other hand, is available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC, giving it a bigger pool of potential players. Aside from that, it looks like Epic’s current infrastructure couldn’t really handle the load, in a ‘post mortem’ published this week, the studio wrote: “The extreme load caused 6 different incidents between Saturday and Sunday, with a mix of partial and total service disruptions to Fortnite.”

Once Fortnite hit the 3.4 million concurrent player milestone, Epic’s primary MCP database faced increased update time spikes up to the 40K millisecond range per operation. This had the knock on effect of increasing load times with matchmaking and other account-bound operations. This build up eventually caused the servers to fail and become unresponsive, at which point Epic had to perform a manual primary failover in order to restore functionality.

Epic’s blog post goes into great technical detail when it comes to explaining how the back-end of Fortnite works. Currently, Epic’s support team is scratching its head trying to figure out how to prevent this in the future. The next steps involve identifying the root cause of Fortnite’s database performance issues, optimizing unnecessary calls to the back-end and optimizing matchmaking session data in the database.

It won’t be a quick fix, but Epic has staff on sight to monitor the situation and provide on-site support on particularly heavy weekends. Hopefully this will mean that over time, if millions of players decide to log in all at once, Fortnite’s servers won’t just seize up.

KitGuru Says: Fortnite has been doing very well over the last few months, though I have yet to try it out for myself. Do any of you currently play Fortnite? Did you run into issues over the weekend?

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