Fortnite hit 3.4M concurrent players last weekend and the servers couldn’t handle the pressure

By Stephany Nunneley, Thursday, 8 February 2018 21:11 GMT

Fortnite hit a new peak of 3.4 million concurrent players on Sunday, February 4 and the load caused major service disruptions.

So many players logged into Fortnite over the February 3-4 weekend it crashed the servers.

Before the outages, the game hit a peak concurrent user record of 3.4 million players.

Epic Games posted an update on the Fortnite website to share technical details about the challenges of having to “rapidly scale” a game and its online services, which are far beyond its “wildest growth expectations.”

According to Epic, the extreme load of players caused six different incidents over the two-day period resulting in a mix of partial and total service disruptions.

“Problems that affect service availability are our primary focus above all else right now. We want you all to know we take these outages very seriously, conducting in-depth post-mortems on each incident to identify the root cause and decide on the best plan of action,” said the Fortnite team.

“The online team has been working diligently over the past month to keep up with the demand created by the rapid week-over-week growth of our user base.”

To ensure service availability, Epic has outlined the following steps it plans to take for Fortnite stability:

  • Identify and resolve the root cause of our DB performance issues.
  • Optimize, reduce, and eliminate all unnecessary calls to the backend from the client or servers.
  • Optimize how we store the matchmaking session data in our DB.
  • Improve our internal operation excellence focus in our production and development process.
  • Improve our alerting and monitoring of known cloud provider limits, and subnet IP utilization.
  • Reducing blast radius during incidents.
  • Rearchitecting our core messaging stack.
  • Digging deeper into our data and DB storage.
  • Scaling our internal infrastructure.
  • Performance at scale
  • Move specific functionality out of MCP to microservices
  • Event sourcing data models for user data
  • Actor based modeling of user sessions

The post goes into the technical nitty gritty side of things if you’re interested in such matters. But, for those of us who aren’t knowledgeable when it comes to such things, it’s just good to know Epic is taking steps to make sure servers remain as stable as possible in the future.

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