Fortnite Reaches Huge New Player Milestones

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The massively popular battle royale game Fortnite continues to grow. Epic Games announced at GDC 2019 this week that the title has now reached 250 million registered players, which is up from 200 million in December.

In terms of people actually playing the game, Epic also revealed that Fortnite reached a new concurrent player record of 10.8 million. That's up slightly from February when 10.7 million people logged on at the same time during the Marshmello in-game concert.

While Fortnite is one of the most popular games in recent history, it may still be behind Minecraft on one metric. Microsoft's sandbox game reportedly has 91 million monthly players, which is ahead of Fortnite's 78.3 million. However, these figures haven't been updated in some time, so it remains to seen if anything has changed.

Google Reveals Stance On Exclusive Games For Stadia

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Google's Stadia is a service that allows players to stream video games via the cloud across a variety of different devices. With most of the finer details about Stadia still under wraps, we sat down with Google VP Phil Harrison at GDC 2019 to further dive into the service.

During the interview, we asked about game exclusives on Stadia. "It was a conversation that I had with Google leadership before I joined the company." Harrison said. "[My] point of view was in order to really deliver on the promise of this platform, we had to build our own games. We had to build our own experiences, and that was a very fundamental, strategic direction that we needed to move in."

He continued, "I understand that [for a gamer] the word 'exclusive' can sometimes be a challenging terminology. [I would] rather we moved the narrative towards [games] that are built specifically for a data center. And if those games also show up on other streaming platforms, that's okay, because what that means is that the developers are starting to innovate and think about the future and [build] a 21st century game, rather than a 20th century game."

Stadia Pricing Model Already Decided, But Google Isn't Sharing It Just Yet

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Google's announcement of Stadia is a big step towards the future of cloud gaming. The service allows players to stream video games via the cloud across a variety of different devices. Google is still keeping a lot of details about Stadia close to the chest, but during GDC 2019, the company's VP Phil Harrison sat down with GameSpot to further delve into the service.

During the interview, we asked Harrison about Stadia's pricing model. We didn't get too many details, but Harrison did reveal that a pricing model for Sadia already exists. It's just being revealed at a later date. In an interview with Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, Guillemot predicted Stadia would launch with a "multitude" of pricing models. "Either you buy full price and you play; or you will be able to also register, possibly, to play either one hour or two hours a day. There will be plenty of ways," he said.

Harrison was able to talk about the process behind deciding the specific model for Stadia, though. "[It was a lot] of very deep conversations with our developer and publisher partners over many many months, and years in some cases. A lot of deep consumer research. We have had a fantastic user research team as a core part of the Stadia team for two years now. And so, we have our point of view, we then test various hypotheses with consumers and publishing partners, and then get to the right result."