Classes in The Elder Scrolls 6 need to be better balanced to prevent players from reverting to their preferred builds, as happened frequently in Skyrim.
Based on the standard metrics of financial success, public acclaim, and global visibility, Fortnite can be considered one of the most successful entertainment franchises ever made. After its release on September 26, 2017, Fortnite completely reshaped the video game business, making the live-service model mainstream and redefining the free-to-play battle royale genre. Fortnite was a smash hit from the moment it was released and has continued to grow in popularity around the world in the years thereafter.
As successful as Battle Royale has become, Epic Games had no idea it would become. Fortnite Battle Royale was originally a tacked-on addition to the main Fortnite Save the World mode, in which players fought against waves of cartoonish attackers by making use of the game’s building elements. When the Battle Royale mode of Fortnite was released in September 2017 and reached 10 million players in just two weeks, Epic rapidly shifted emphasis and doubled down on the game that would soon take over the world.
What Made Fortnite So Popular Around the World
The battle royale genre was just starting out in 2017. Z1 Battle Royale entered early access in 2015, and The Culling was released the following year. Although these games received some media coverage, they were not particularly influential because of their complexity and difficulty level. After its release in March 2017, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds quickly established itself as the genre’s gold standard. However, despite its popularity, PUBG was not the highest quality experience, including dated graphics, unpolished shooting mechanics, and numerous bugs.
When the Battle Royale mode of Fortnite was released in September of 2017, it immediately caught the attention of gamers everywhere. Fortnite’s quality immediately outshone its contemporaries because it was developed by Epic Games, a studio with a long and rich history in the gaming industry. When you factor in Fortnite’s innate excellence and absence of technological concerns, as well as its high level of accessibility (the game is free-to-play for anyone), you have the perfect storm to launch the battle royale genre.
Millions of people downloaded Fortnite and played their first matches in the first week after it was released. Like any astute publisher/developer would, Epic Games jumped at the chance to expand the game’s features. Fortnite’s first Season arrived less than a month after the game’s initial release, and it featured a small selection of cosmetics that players could purchase with V-Bucks. With the release of Season 2 in December 2017, Epic Games saw the Battle Pass as a way to further cash in on Fortnite’s popularity. For 950 V-Bucks, gamers could gain access to a progression system that granted them cosmetic rewards for accomplishing in-game goals and rising through the ranks. This Battle Pass mechanism has been so well received that it has been used by virtually every multiplayer game, from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to Overwatch 2.
Seasonal updates to Fortnite’s content, including skins, weapons, and gear, as well as map rotations, have helped Epic Games maintain the interest of the game’s early adopters while also drawing in new players. The year 2018 was a game-changer for Fortnite, helping to propel the game into the global sensation that it is today. In what has become one of the most memorable Twitch streams of all time, Fortnite streamer Ninja played the game with Drake, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Travis Scott, and Kim DotCom in March of 2018. The media paid a lot of attention to this video, marking it as one of the first times Fortnite was widely discussed.
The first significant crossover with a well-known IP occurred in May of 2018 when Thanos was added to Fortnite as a playable character for the limited-time mode Infinity Gauntlet. This is the first in a long line of crossovers between Fortnite and other popular media that have helped spread the game around the world. Fortnite made $1.8 billion in its first 10 months, and $2.4 billion by year’s end.
Fortnite’s breadth of features and general scope expand in tandem with the game’s user base. Fortnite’s content has grown exponentially over the past five years, with the addition of new maps, skins, weapons, items, and even NPCs. Furthermore, Fortnite has continued to collaborate with a wide variety of well-known brands, such as those from Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Uncharted, and many other franchises.
New players can be attracted by crossover skins, but massive crossover events are what really get people talking about Fortnite. The recent Dragon Ball crossover event is a great illustration of this, as it featured not only a variety of skins from the anime but also items like the Nimbus Cloud and the Kamehameha and map changes based on the IP. Fortnite is not just one of the most approachable games of all time, but also a constantly-evolving celebration of all things pop culture, and in today’s IP-loving world, that’s the perfect storm to become a global hit.
The Future of Fortnite
Fortnite’s future is somewhat uncertain because it is extremely unusual for a multiplayer game to not only survive until its fifth birthday but also to be at the zenith of its popularity and success. Fortnite is probably simply going to keep doing what it’s been doing for the last three years because that’s been producing massive success. This bodes well for the future of crossovers, with some deserving huge, event-scale productions to coincide with blockbuster film or video game releases. In addition, Epic appears satisfied to maintain its standard three-month Season cycle, with updates arriving around once per week to provide new content that should keep the game interesting for both newbies and seasoned veterans alike.
Fortnite is often credited as the game that popularised the live-service paradigm. While some publishers have gotten greedy with their live-service approach, releasing a half-baked game with minimal content in order to justify selling a bunch of cosmetics on the side, Epic Games has continued to pump new content into Fortnite at a consistent rate. If that trend continues, it seems pretty unlikely that Fortnite will lose its luster any time soon.
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