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Why has Fortnite Battle Royale gotten so popular?

Damien Marquez, Reporter

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Fortnite, a game launched by the company “Epic Games” back in July of 2017 created a buzz which became louder in September 2017 when an additional game mode arrived and the buzz got louder again when an app for phones hit the market.  According to CNBC, there are 15 million active daily users and 355 billion minutes watched for this game.

In the beginning the game only came with one available  game mode called, “Save the World” which is set on Earth where a deadly storm that has spread across the world, has killed 98% of the world’s population and has turned people into zombie-like creatures who attack the remaining population. The map is randomly generated and during the day the players must collect various resources and build forts and other bases to defend themselves against the creatures that come during the night. The purpose of the game mode is to survive against the waves of zombies and increase your character’s strength through each level.

“Battle Royale” a second game mode was introduced into the game in September of 2017, Fortnite really took off. There isn’t a fee for the “Battle Royale” mode so many people are able to enjoy the game mode. “Battle Royale” is a game mode that supports 100 players who fall into different parts of a randomly generated map.

Player from Fortnite parachuting in the beginning of the game to the most crowded part of the map, Tilted Towers.

Teams can be split up into individual play, duo play, or you can create a squad up with 3 other players to make a 4 man team. How “Battle Royale” works is every team parachutes into different locations on the map. The players need to collect weapons and different resources. The resources are used to build a fort or base to defend themselves. Throughout the game, a storm will closes in on a different area of the map. As the storm closes in, all players that are caught in the storm, take Damage Over Time (DOT) by losing health points, and if a player is caught in the storm for too long, they could die. The storm circle will randomly close in, reducing the game area smaller and smaller, therefore causing the players to run into each resulting in more frequent fights. Throughout the game supply drops are randomly discovered in different parts of the map and these drops provide resources and weapons and items players can use. Weapon drops are categorized in common (grey), uncommon (green), rare (blue), epic (purple), then legendary (gold) colors. All the players attempt to become the last man or team standing and win the game in order to get a “Victory Royale” banner.

Morton West students Kevin Garfio, ’18, David Castillo ’18, and Juan Ibarra ’18 were asked if they have heard of the game and if they play it, Garfio replied, “Yes I play the game often”, Castillo replied, “Yes I have. Yes I play it a lot”, Ibarra replied, “Have I played it? I play it every night!”. Garfio, Ibarra and Castillo said the game mode they would play is Battle Royale,   Ibarra replied,”I only play Battle Royale because playing online is way more fun”.

The company Epic Games who developed Fortnite, have also developed other very popular games such as “Gears of War”, “Paragon”, “Spyjinx and “Robo call”. Are the other game made by Epic Games as popular? Garfio repied, “Yes I have played “Paragon” and I played it a lot”, Castillo replied, “Yes I played “Paragon” but I stopped playing it because I didn’t really like it (the game)”, and Ibarra replied, “I used to play Gears of War a couple years ago, I never knew “Fortnite” and “Gears of War” were made by the same company”. Clearly Epic Games has had tons of hit games but not as successful as “Fortnite”.

Gears of War made by Epic Game

Paragon made by Epic Games

Among the top 5 video game genres is the shooter genre, has ranked “Fortnite”  into this category with the possibility of making its way to the shooter genre number 1 spot.  What other shooter games are popular at the moment?, Garfio replied, “Yes I have played the “Call of Duty” series, “Killing Floor 2”, “Rainbow Six Siege”, and the “Battlefield” series”, Castillo replied, “Yes I like shooter games because I have played “Call of Duty”, Ibarra replied, “Yes I love shooter games, “Call of Duty” was the first game I ever took seriously”.

Fortnite is breaking records for the amount of players it is bringing in.  The player count is large for , Garfio estimated, “5 million people”play, Castillo responded with a guess of, “30 million”, and finally Ibarra guessed, “Probably  around 60 million players”. Actually all of these predictions are wrong and the last known player count, according to NBC Chicago news was 45 millions players across all consoles.

A couple of weeks ago Epic Games announced that Fortnite will be coming to mobile devices and they kept their promise. On Monday March 12, 2018, Epic began taking  sign ups for the app and they would email codes to a select few people to be able to download and play the game. The codes were sent through email on Thursday March 15, 2018 and the game immediately jumped to the top of the chart on the App Store. The cool thing about the mobile version of Fortnite is that the game enables cross play, which means if you want to play with your friends on PS4, Xbox One, PC, or Windows you will have no problem playing with them even on your mobile devices. The game, Fortnite has truly taken over all platforms.

The layout for the mobile version of the game

The very popular Fortnite streamer is Tyler Blevins aka Ninja. On March 14, 2018 Ninja partnered up with Steelers WR Juju Smith-Schuster, and rappers Travis Scott and Drake. They played the game which was streamed for 4 consecutive hours and broke the record for most viewed stream. The record was 388,000 people watching an individual person’s broadcast but Ninja, Juju, Scott, and Drake brought in 628,000 viewers on Twitch. The groups then had conversations about the future of Fortnite on Twitch. Smith tweeted “Never thought a top 5 night of my life would be playing Fortnite at 1 am.” Fortnite has really changed the way people interact and brought many different people together.

All in all, everybody seems to really love the game. Fortnite attracts celebrities, pro players, and casual gamers to it and that’s the type of game everybody likes. Hopefully the developers make smart moves in trying to improve the game, and don’t destroy the way people play. So go hop on Fortnite with your friends and figure out where you are dropping!

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Why has Fortnite Battle Royale gotten so popular?