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New Fortnite Release Downloads Shatter Record for Internet Traffic

July 13, 2018, 9:45 PM UTC

Obama’s inauguration? The 2016 presidential election? They’ve got nothing on Fortnite.

The release of the game’s fifth season, a notable update that players have been anxiously awaiting, broke Internet game traffic records, according to Akamai. Actually, no … it shattered those records.

To put things in perspective, the 2016 U.S. Presidential election saw peak traffic on Akamai’s platform of 7.5 Tbps. Yesterday’s Fortnite update peaked at 37 Tbps. That’s nearly five times the bandwidth.

“To put this into perspective, this level of traffic would be like downloading the average mobile game 2.8 million times per minute,” said Akamai’s Nelson Rodriguez in a blog post.

While Fortnite posted some huge numbers, it fell short of the overall traffic record. That was set on Sept. 15 of last year, when there were a number of major events taking place, including Hurricane Irma slamming into Florida. Traffic on that day hit 60 Tbps.

Fortnite is more than a video game, it’s a bonafide phenomenon. It’s now mentioned more than bitcoin on earnings calls. And its release on the Nintendo Switch set records for that platform, with more than 2 million downloads on its first day.

The game’s creators have put up $100 million for an esports tournament prize pool for the game, which is driving even more players to give it a try.