'Fortnite' vs. 'Apex Legends' Search Data Shows Which Game Is More Popular

It may be too close to call.

When Apex Legends launched on February 4, new fans of the battle royale game from EA were quick to call it a Fortnite-killer. Debates will continue, but a recently trendy indicator of interest in any topic is search traffic for it on Pornhub, the adult website has announced in December it receives 100 million visitors a day.

Inverse reached out to Pornhub for data on search interest in the two competing games. The results reveal that while Apex Legends really is giving Fortnite a run for its money — at least when it comes to porn-related search trends — interest in both games is near even.

In a 2018 Year in Review report, Pornhub revealed that Fortnite was one of its most popular search topics, with an average of 151,000 search queries per day for Fortnite-related porn. By comparison, Apex Legends currently averages about 100,000 searches per day. To be clear, that means roughly 100,000 people were typing the words “Apex Legends” into Pornhub’s search engine every day to find video game-related porn. (Popular related search terms include “Apex Legends porn”, “Apex Legends hentai” and “Apex legends Wraith”.)

fortnite vs apex legends fortnite data
Pornhub data comparing daily searches for 'Fortnite' and 'Apex Legends'

For a few days, Apex Legends even surpassed Fortnite by Pornhub’s metrics, peaking at 357,701 searches on February 18. The company’s statisticians also recorded a total of 2.27 million searches for EA’s game in the 22 days since it first launched.

But does this mean Apex Legends is actually more popular than Fortnite? It’s hard to say, but there’s evidence that humans simply gravitate towards what’s new. Speaking to Inverse in December about Pornhub’s Year In Review, Dr. Catherine Salmon, a professor of psychology at the University of Redlands who specializes in pornography, explained that our immediate response to learning about something new is often, “Yeah, what about that, but doing sex?”

“The way that trends fluctuate or change from year to year - that just reflects whatever is on people’s minds. If things are in the news, people will respond to them physically,” said Salmon. “But there are common themes that underlie everything: sex with new people, sex with different people. Situations that tap into the psychology that finds novelty arousing.”

Beyond the world of porn, Fortnite still holds a sizable lead over its newer competition. The game recently reported 7.6 million concurrent players, breaking new records despite the emergence of Apex Legends, which reached 2 million concurrents in its first week. Fortnite also handily beats Apex Legends when it comes to total players, pulling in 200 million gamers compared to Apex’s measly 25 million, according to one recent report.

Clearly, at least in terms of players, Apex Legends still has a long way to go if it wants to dethrone Fortnite. But if it can capture hearts and minds as well as it’s captured the attention of Pornhub’s novelty-seeking pervs, Apex Legends may be where the wind is blowing.

Media via Pornhub, Respawn