Millions around the world have been glued behind their gaming consoles thanks to the battle royale game Fortnite.

Released in July last year, Fortnite has become the most played game of 2018 with reports estimating it has up to 125 million users.

The game's success also has a Kiwi influence, with the head researcher for Epic Games, Ben Lewis-Evans, coming from Te Awamutu.

Lewis-Evans has become an integral part of the Epic Games user experience research team, which plays a huge role in how popular the game has become.


Lewis-Evans has the job of communicating the intent of the developers to the players, and to ensure players are having the experience that developers intended them to have.

According to Lewis-Evans the huge success of Fortnite comes down to its appeal to so many different people.

"There's not really any other game out there like it," he says. "It has some Minecraft elements to it and some survival elements to it, and that was in development for a while.

"Then the battle royale mode was added and it's been amazing to see how well that's been received."

The success of Fortnite is nothing like any other game has seen in the past five years, and Lewis-Evans says the Epic Games offices are buzzing about it.

"It's been very humbling and the atmosphere ... is that people are surprised and humbled and want to keep serving our players," he says.

Fortnite fever has also reached Lewis-Evans' hometown of Te Awamutu, where he says it is exciting to watch how involved New Zealanders are with the game.

"It's been great to see how widespread Fortnite has become, especially in New Zealand," he says. "I sent my parents some Fortnite shirts that said 'Developer' on them and they were just swamped with kids wanting to ask questions about the game which is so great for me to see," he says.

Lewis-Evans says Fortnite should be able to remain at the top of the gaming world with the help of his research team.