The Rise And Fall Of Fortnite

In 2017 a fresh new concept came into the world of gaming. It was to be an inclusive ever evolving Battle Royal with a competitive edge and a map that would change from season to season – something that at the time hadn’t been a thing in the mass market or even at all. Fortnite was born. A game where you could be any character you wanted (providing you did the challenges and/or bought v bucks) and you could play with your friends “cross-platform” and best of all.. IT WAS FREE.

Now I’m going to start this off by stating that free games have never been a new thing, but the catch always was that you had to “pay to win”. This wasn’t the case. The purchases would always be for skins, sprays and emotes. There would be no extra perks for paying and this is where they succeeded in this that no others before had. Before ” Battle Royale” though there was the creation of “Save the World” which was originally their baby project and was £20 (?) to get if you wanted to get the founders edition before this too got released to the mass market for free. To date (Jan 1st 2019) it hasn’t been released to main market and whilst it was going to be released at the end of 2018, there have been far too many “issues with development” to warrant a full scale release. A huge part of this is due to the fact that they released Battle Royale and the popularity of that has meant the staff cannot work on the original concept. For your information, I don’t actually mind the STW version of the game, but I will only play it in small burst or if I’m bored and have nothing else to play. I also bought it in the sales because I thought the price of it for a half broken game wasn’t worth it at full “founders” cost.

With STW pretty much broken Epic (the makers) spent their time focusing on what the market wanted to play, their free game. Season one, two and three launched and whilst there wasn’t much to go on that they started getting traction and popularity with their bright and colourful characters and their little dance moves that pleased adults and children. They tested out different guns and weapons, vaulted some and kept others and were doing a steady job at getting more and more people involved into the community.

Then a well known streamer called Ninja played with a well known rapper called Drake and everyone collectively lost their shit over this BRAND NEW GAME. Everyone and their friends tagged along on this game where you could play as a solo, duo’s or even get a squad together. It was fresh, exciting and everyone wanted a piece of it.

Epic pretty quickly became one of the largest game companies in monetary value over night. People would be buying shell accounts on eBay just for original skins – people were pouring hundreds of pounds into buying characters and battle passes. They were getting the toys, the cosplay outfits and had their own favourite streamers to watch this game. This was helped partially by the launch of mixer and the “Fortnite Hype Zone” a channel dedicated to showing players of the game who were in the top 10/5 of that match. There was no goals to big for epic and they started wanted to push the map and it’s players to the competitive limit and by season 4 – we had the online real time explosion of the map, and our favourite giant cube Kevin was born (who parted with us at the end of season 5 with a huge real time interactive cut scene and map change which all players who were online at that exact moment could witness).

Then season six happened. It grew so big that it had grown a particular fan base of let’s say “12-21” year olds who would start actively abusing streamers whilst they would play if they didn’t think the action was good enough. Kids would be bullied in the school yard for not having the brand new skin and parents were getting their bank cards stolen just so their kids could buy vbucks. Also at this point, streamers were properly getting stream sniped – which would put off streamers from being so active in their own communities. Epic never spoke out about gamer harassment nor did they discourage people from abusing the systems they have in place. They just pushed out more and more skins and gliders and clamped down on people selling shell accounts. To date Fortnite is still the number one streamed game but this is in decline, mainly for this and one other tiny issue.


They are churning out buyable items like they are candy but they have decided not to fix even the basic of problems. They removed re deployment of gliders so you couldn’t escape fights easily but then added planes which, guess what? Help you escape fights easier. To top it all off they invented a sword that they clearly didn’t test and it destroyed the fair competitive side of the game. They only vaulted it when it was played in a competition (I believe the winter skirmish) and saw how awful it was – no joke you killed people with one hit and it gave you double health and armour whilst you had it. Sounds fun right? Not really when the hit detection of the guns have been broken since, well it feels like forever.

Whilst Epic have tried to work on some new features, it hasn’t actually started on the basic game dynamics and this has driven many players away. They are also not the only kid on the block now and with the release of PUBG, the Battle Royal mode in Call of Duty and the development of Realm Royal in the works, it’s no longer a one horse race and many of its original players have left because of all it’s issues. I for one won’t be buying next seasons battle pass unless I earn the vbucks required. I don’t see why I should shell out for something constantly broken with a community that’s surrounded by such toxicity that it’s just poison. I do hope the game does get better and issues resolve, but personally I think that Fortnite has had it’s peak and if they don’t fix issues soon, it will be a dead game.

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