Success in the entertainment world is often measured by a few key factors, with money, popularity and global recognition being the big three; by these measurements, Fortnite is one of the most successful entertainment properties ever created. Released on September 26, 2017, Fortnite changed the video game industry forever, popularized the live service model and revolutionized the free-to-play battle royale scene. Fortnite was an instant hit at launch, and now, all these years later, it has become a worldwide phenomenon.
Epic games never expected Fortnite‘s Battle Royale mode will be just as unfathomably popular as it is now. Original, Fortnite Battle Royale was just a side expansion for the base Fortnite Save the World mode, where players survive against hordes of cartoonish enemies, using construction mechanics to gain the upper hand. But when FortniteThe Battle Royale mode launched in September 2017 and gained 10 million players in just two weeks. Epic quickly shifted focus and doubled down on the game that would soon take over the world.
How Fortnite became a global phenomenon
In 2017, the battle royale genre was still in its infancy. 2015 saw Z1 Battle Royale click early access, with the cull release it a year later. While these games received some mainstream attention, they were far too simplistic and inaccessible to make a significant splash. In March 2017, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds launched and quickly became the first truly popular battle royale title. But PUBG still wasn’t the highest quality experience, with some rough footage, half-baked shooting mechanics, and a whole host of technical issues.
Sep 2017, FortniteThe Battle Royale mode launched and it didn’t take long for the game world to stop and take notice. Developed by Epic Games, a studio with a long and rich history in the game industry, Fortnite‘s quality immediately overshadowed the competition at the time. Combine the inherent quality and lack of technical issues with the game’s high level of accessibility, where the controls and mechanics are easy to understand for newcomers and the game is free to play for everyone, and Fortnite was the perfect storm to kick-start the battle royale genre.
Fortnite was an instant success, with millions of players signing up and signing up for their first matches in the game’s first week. And as any logical publisher/developer would, Epic Games seized the opportunity and set to work adding new content to the game. Just a month after its first release, Fortnite received its first season, which added a handful of cosmetics to the game that players could purchase with V-Bucks. See further opportunities to take advantage of FortniteDue to the success of Epic Games, Epic Games introduced the Battle Pass in Fortnite Season 2 in December 2017. For just 950 V-Bucks, players could unlock a progression system that rewarded them with cosmetics for completing certain objectives and improving levels in the game. This Battle Pass system was so successful that it has now been implemented in just about every multiplayer game out there, from Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2until Overwatch 2.
With each new season of new cosmetics, weapons, items and map changes, Epic Games managed to grow its initial player base in Fortnite, while also continuing to attract new players. 2018 was a huge year in Fortnite history, and played an important role in making Fortnite such a global phenomenon. In March 2018, Fortnite Streamer Ninja co-starred with Drake, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Travis Scott, and Kim DotCom in what is now one of the most infamous Twitch streams of all time. This stream received a lot of media attention and is one of the first examples of Fortnite breaking into mainstream public consciousness.
Just a few months later, in May 2018, Fortnite had its first major crossover with a popular IP, adding Thanos to the game as a playable character in the limited-time Infinity Gauntlet mode. This marks the beginning of Fortnite‘s long history of pop culture crossovers, all of which play an important role in bringing the game to the world’s attention. In the first 10 months, Fortnite grossed $1.8 billion, and by the end of 2018, that had risen to $2.4 billion.
As Fortnite“Player base is growing, as is the game’s content and overall scope. In the past five years, Fortnite has added an unprecedented amount of content ranging from in-game skins to map revisions to new weapons, items and NPCs. Fortnite has also continued to cross over with a huge library of popular properties, from Star Warsto Marvel, to DC, to Horizon Zero Dawnuntil not mappedand everything in between.
While crossover skins help bring in new players, it’s the large-scale crossover events that help draw the most attention to Fortnite. The perfect example of this is the recent Dragon Ball crossover event, adding not only a series of skins from the anime to the game, but also items such as the Nimbus Cloud and the Kamehameha, as well as map changes based on the IP. Fortnite Not only is it one of the most accessible games ever made, but it’s also an ever-evolving celebration of all things pop culture, and in today’s IP-loving world, that’s the perfect storm to spark a global phenomenon. become.
Where Fortnite comes from
It’s quite rare in the gaming world to see a multiplayer title not only surviving to its fifth anniversary, but even being at the peak of its popularity and success, so FortniteThe future is a bit unpredictable right now. It seems quite likely that Fortnite will just continue what it has been doing over the years because that has worked incredibly well so far. So that probably means fans will see even more crossovers in the future, some of which are likely to get major large-scale events that tie in with major movie or video game releases. Plus, Epic seems pretty happy to continue its usual three-month season cycle, with regular updates coming every week or so adding new content to the game, which should keep the game fresh for newcomers and old players alike.
Fortnite has popularized the live service model in gaming and it remains the best example of it. While some publishers have gotten greedy with their live-service approach, using it as an excuse to release a half-baked game with minimal content and sell a ton of cosmetics on the side, Epic Games has continued to pump new content in Fortnite at a steady pace, and if that trend continues, it seems quite unlikely that Fortnite will quickly lose its shine.
Fortnite is now available on mobile, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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