Drake Played 'Fortnite' on Twitch, Smashing Viewership Records

More than 600,000 people watched Drake play Fortnite Battle Royale on Twitch with Ninja.

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Mar 15 2018, 11:32am

Last night, over 600,000 people watched Drake play Fortnite Battle Royale on Twitch with a streamer named Ninja.

That's a ton of people considering that Drake wasn't even on camera. Ninja was the one streaming, so all Drake fans could get is his voice calling out enemies and some light strategy chatter. I don't know if you've played a lot of video games online, but it's not the coolest a person can sound.

Still, Drake tweeted when he was about to play, so everyone tuned in, and the stream quickly broke Twitch's record for most people watching a single stream.

"Over 600,000 people watched Drake play Fortnite Battle Royale on Twitch with Ninja."

What a sentence. What a world. What does it mean?

Here's a handy guide:

Drake, aka Drizzy, aka Champagne Papi, etc, is obviously a very famous rapper. You might have seen his recently released video for God's Plan, in which he goes around the streets of Miami giving people bundles of cash. You might have seen this picture of him rollerblading. If you want to learn more about Drake, our psycho friends over at Noisey made 31 podcast episodes just about him.

Fortnite is a 'battle royale' video game. Battle royale is a relatively new genre of shooter, in which 100 players airdrop on an island, and fight by themselves or in small teams. When a player dies, they stay dead for that match. The last player (or team) standing wins the whole thing. The genre started in the mod scene for games like DayZ, Arma 3, and H1Z1, but didn't take off until the release of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. PlayerUnknown is the screen name of the modder who made battle royale mods before he released Battlegrounds. When he did, it became incredibly popular.

Battlegrounds was so popular, many game companies tried to copy it. Epic Games was already testing a game called Fortnite at the time, in which players build defenses against hordes of monsters. Think of it like a shooter mixed in with some Minecraft. It wasn't a huge success, but Epic Games saw the success of Battlegrounds, tweaked their game to create a battle royale mode, and Fortnite Battle Royale was born. It almost immediately became bigger than the original game, and is now a huge hit.

That's kind of surprising because it's a copy of a game that was already dominant, and because I would argue it's much more complicated (in Battlegrounds players just run around and shoot, in Fortnite they have to run around and shoot AND constantly build defenses). It's less surprising when you consider it has a brighter, more colorful look, and that it combines two of the most popular video games in recent history: Battlegrounds and Minecraft. Also, it's free, and Battlegrounds is not.

Twitch, of course, is platform where people stream themselves playing video games. It's huge. According to research firm Super Data, it has an audience of 185 million viewers.

Ninja is the Twitch name of a popular streamer named Tyler Blevins. He's become very popular very fast by playing Fortnite on the service. He recently gained 50,000 subscribers in a week.

Drake (confirmed gamer) followed him on Twitter, and last night the two finally got together. The stream quickly broke the platform's viewership records. They even won a match.

How will Ninja top this? There's only one way. Roseanne Barr Fortnite stream: