Fortnite is getting a lot smaller on PC. In a tweet ahead of the battle royale's latest patch, Epic confirmed that while this update is a lot bigger than normal, the overall result is a massive shrinkage of the game's file size.
Before last night's patch, Fortnite would take up around 90GB on your PC's hard drive. Now that the new update has arrived, however, that file size has dropped to about 26.5GB instead. Epic explained the change in a tweet yesterday, notifying PC players that their patch would be a lot bigger than normal.
Please note the patch size will be larger than normal on PC (approx. 27 GB). This is to make optimizations on PC resulting in a massively reduced Fortnite file size (over 60 GB smaller), smaller downloads for future patches, and improved loading performance.October 20, 2020
At approximately 27GB, it certainly is a significant update, but Epic says that the idea behind it is "to make optimizations on PC resulting in a massively reduced Fortnite file size." As well as making for a game that takes up more than 60GB less space than before, it'll also mean "smaller downloads for future patches and improved loading performance."
That's good news for Fortnite fans, but is also part of a beneficial trend over recent months, as a number of other studios have taken steps to shrink their games. Warframe developer Digital Extremes recently switched to new compression technology allowing it to knock 6GB off its game's footprint. Infinity Ward now allows PC players to uninstall the parts of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare they're not using to make it smaller, and Bungie is also looking to reduce file size in Destiny 2: Beyond Light.
Whether Epic's strategy on PC will be used on the console or mobile versions of the game remains to be seen, but as some of the world's biggest multiplayer games take steps to limit their impact on players' download caps, it seems likely that others will be encouraged to follow suit.
As well as the smaller file, today's Fortnite patch also introduces Fortnitemares 2020.