Fortnite Battle Royale is a game that has broken barriers and opened doors for people across the globe. It’s a hugely innovative title – if a bit simplistic – that has received attention from almost everybody in the video games industry. Today, we’re going to look at why the game has become so influential.
Fortnite popularized the battle royale niche of video games.
Fortnite follows a formula in video games that’s known as battle royale. Players enter an arena with a set number of other players, jump onto a massive map and fight until there’s only one person standing. While other video games have featured this concept as a part of the overall experience, Fortnite is one of the first to capitalize on the idea fully. Having this sort of gameplay front and center created a phenomenon we haven’t seen in gaming, and it’s certainly been a wild ride for everyone Fortnite has touched.
The game has created superstars.
Websites such as Twitch – which allows viewers to watch others play video games – are becoming more and more popular. Being able to interact with professional gamers and sparky personalities utilizing the web has proven to be a unique experience, and Fortnite is arguably the most popular game to ever be streamed on these platforms. As I write this, the game currently has more than 250,000 viewers on Twitch alone. Streamer Ninja – the most popular Fortnite player – has been featured on shows as popular as The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He is a multi-millionaire with more than 13 million followers across the globe.
It’s an extremely social experience.
While players are not forced to participate in voice-to-voice chat with other users, it’s a big part of the experience. Gamers can communicate with the individuals who are in their squads, and this creates an atmosphere that is wholly immersive. And while there have been myriad social opportunities for gamers in the past – think Halo: Combat Evolved or League of Legends – there’s no doubt that Fortnite adds an evolution that is squeaky clean. Gone are the days of non-social gaming … for better or worse. It will be fun to see how Fortnite continues to update this system as new games challenge its throne.
There is a never-ending stream of funds to support game development.
While this one is certainly a double-edged sword, it’s no less important to Fortnite’s developer, Epic Games. While Fortnite is totally free to play, gamers could find very quickly that the title offers them a bunch of different micro-transaction options once in the game. Whether a player is buying a new weapon or a rad-looking shirt, rest assured: having a little real-world change never hurt. This is why there are so many parents across the world groaning with anxiety when the word Fortnite is brought up in conversation. The littles ones are ambushing wallets with reckless abandon.
It’s really, really fun.
At its core, Fortnite is here to do one thing: provide a fun, memorable experience for those who play it. While the age demographic skews far younger for the game, it’s also something that anyone can get into. The controls, concept and gameplay mechanics are simple. While I wouldn’t expect grandma and grandpa to be naturals, maybe they could pick up controllers and have a few laughs with the grandkids. Even if players aren’t fans of Fortnite, they can’t debate the immense levels of fun one can have while playing it.
Fortnite is a Game of the Year award winner.
Don’t just take my word for it. Fortnite came out in 2017, and proceeded to quickly win the industry’s de facto Game of the Year award. Even if some don’t like Fortnite as a video game, its impact is hard to miss. This is driven home by the fact that the game is nearing its second birthday, and it is still full-steam ahead. Only the most innovative, industry-warping titles achieve such long tenures on our respective screens. If Epic Games has its way, Fortnite will be around for many years to come – and with the money they’re making, I’d expect them to succeed.
It’s culturally relevant.
Fortnite does its research, so developers know what their audience wants. On one hand, it could be as simple as in-game events for every holiday of the year – maybe things get spooky for Halloween or happy-go-lucky for Christmas. On the other, they’re constantly introducing new dances based on popular characters from yesteryear. A player could dance like the more obscure Backpack Kid or bust a move doing the well-known Carlton Dance from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Needless to say, it makes the experience timeless. And for a game that can be somewhat repetitive, these niceties are a breath of fresh air now and again.
The general feeling among those working in video games right now is that Fortnite will define a generation. With that said, the competition in the gaming space is so fierce that it’s likely we’ll see another contender start to bite at Fortnite’s heels very, very soon.
Until that time, the game remains king – and its many subjects are happy, willing participants. Here’s to many more games of
Fortnite in the coming years!
Video games journalist Jacob Saylor has covered the massive Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. Follow Jacob on Twitter