Here’s Everything You Should (Probably Already) Know About “Fortnite”

Despite a fairly average launch in July 2017, Fortnite suddenly and unexpectedly became one of the hottest games in the world. Developer Epic Games was brave to explore a new IP, which in a world of remasters and safe sequels, is considered very risky business in and of itself. And for the first couple of months following its release, things were looking pretty unexceptional for the game… Then Battle Royale happened, and everything changed.

Here’s how it happened.

Undoubtedly taking inspiration from the incredibly successful PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which blasted the battle royale genre into the spotlight, Epic Games took the well-polished building mechanics of Fortnite and wove them into a last man standing mode. What started out as an obvious act of jumping on the bandwagon, rapidly led to Fortnite Battle Royale going toe-to-toe with PUBG, and ultimately defeating it.

PUBG’s intense gameplay excused many of that title’s shortcomings, with poor performance, glitches, bugs, and all sorts of network issues happily ignored by most of the community. It may have run terribly (and it still does), but it offered a buzz that other games simply couldn’t match… That is until Fortnite Battle Royale came along.

Fortnite runs extremely well. Whatever your platform of choice — PC, PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One, Xbox One X, and iPhone are all supported — the game runs smoothly and with no noticeable hiccups. Fortnite Battle Royale is a AAA game that was shaped into a battle royale experience, while PUBG was a bunch of big ideas, mushed together, with fixes coming later.

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Not only can Fortnite Battle Royale run on pretty much any system, but it supports cross-play, cross-progress, and cross-purchases, too. This means that friends can join each other on different systems, and save data from one platform is carried across and synced seamlessly to another. Epic Games has made it easy for players and their friends to get involved, with next to no limitations. This contrasts hugely to the other hottest game on the planet, PUBG, which is limited to PC and Xbox players (and now mobile). PUBG also has an entry price of $30. That’s $30 more than it costs to play Fortnite Battle Royale, which is free!

Fortnite Battle Royale being free to play, on top of its multiplatform availability, makes it extremely accessible to players. The low age rating also opens it up to a younger audience, but without alienating older gamers. Epic Games monetizes the Battle Royale component through a subscription feature called the “Battle Pass,” as well as more premium character skins. None of the paid-for content affects gameplay, and this method of monetization is seen as one of the best ways of handling a free-to-play title.

The key factor to Fortnite’s success, however, is how communicative Epic Games has been. Game development used to be a very private and secret affair, but with more games being treated as “services,” and incorporating more online, active components, it’s no longer seen as acceptable for a development team to stay silent during development, especially when it comes to post-launch support.

Epic Games is always talking about what’s next for Fortnite. There are messages within the game itself, development update posts, and extensive “State of Development” roadmaps. The developers are always keeping their players informed, and this is rewarded with constant excitement and passion for the game. Every single week, there’s something new to see and do, and every single week, gamers are blowing up forums and social media with awesome new clips and findings. It’s incredibly healthy, and it’s a win for everyone.

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In addition to gaming world domination, Fortnite is also now seeping into “real life.” Most recently, we saw a top Twitch streamer play the game with Drake, amassing over 630,000 concurrent viewers. Prior to that, various sports personalities have made it known that they’re playing and loving Fortnite, with no ad money required. The game is popping up everywhere, and there’s no signs of it slowing down.

My own life sees me focusing on Fortnite, more than any other game. As a gaming news writer, I follow trends to see what’s hot. Fortnite is the hottest video game I’ve seen in a long, long time, and it’s been this way for months now. When people aren’t playing Fortnite, they’re reading about it. Every single day, Fortnite rises above all other video games as the most searched for.

This is gaming world domination.