Due to its adrenaline-fueled firefights and emphasis on teamwork, Battle Royale has historically been a popular gaming genre. However, Fortnite has altered the definition of a BR game.
Fortnite has always distinguished out from other titles such as Warzone, Apex Legends, and PUBG, thanks in part to its unique building features, which allow players to construct fortifications to defend themselves against assaulting opponents.
Despite the gaming community’s recognition of Fortnite as one of the most popular Battle Royale games, it witnessed a dip from 2021 to 2023. However, the game has reclaimed the top spot in the rankings, with Epic crafting one of the year’s best comeback stories.
The “peak” Fortnite period
In 2017, KRAFTON’s Player’s Unknown Battle Grounds (PUBG) launched Battle Royale games to widespread audiences at a time when first-person shooters and single-player games were all the rage. With the introduction of the title, a new genre of gameplay evolved, incorporating extended match durations and the requirement for players to tactically organise their loadouts and positions.Fortnite, on the other hand, quickly established itself as a battle royale genre leader by capitalising on the trend towards immersive visuals, accessible gameplay, and novel building features. Fortnite achieved global success because to broadcasters such as Tfue and Ninja, the game’s cross-platform accessibility, and its free-to-play approach.
Fortnite had transcended gaming and became a cultural phenomenon by 2018. It had appeared in films, television shows, and sporting events, and the game’s distinctive dance emotes, such as “Orange Justice” and “Floss,” had become iconic in popular culture.
The game was at its peak in 2019 when it held the inaugural Fortnite World Cup, when Bugha won the most significant cash prize of $1 million – an unparalleled sum of money in a Battle Royale competition.
In contrast, despite reaching its pinnacle during Chapter 2’s Travis Scott concert and a thorough Marvel crossover, Fornite struggled to retain its newfound momentum in succeeding seasons.
Falling from the high ground
Following a live event that completed Fortnite Chapter 2, the player count decreased in Chapter 3 due to a lack of content.
Aside from the World Cup being replaced with yearly FNCS (Fortnite Champion Series), the Battle Royale island and weaponry failed to demonstrate the same amount of creativity that gamers had loved in Chapters 1 and 2.
Although Epic continued to produce frequent material, the majority of users were unsatisfied with the updates and hotfixes. Certain players claim that the lack of live events and LTMs was their key incentive for migrating to alternative Battle Royale titles such as Apex Legends and Warzone.Despite this, Epic continues to invest extensively in Fortnite and leveraged in-game cosmetics sales to introduce notable crossovers, despite its legal conflict with Apple and Google Play over third-party pricing in their individual shops.
At the time, Fortnite’s demise was obvious, as some major content developers and competitive gamers resigned from the game entirely, proclaiming it “dead.”
Fortnite’s Epic Revolution
Following a dismal Chapter 3 that lasted barely four seasons, Fortnite launched a brand-new era in Chapter 4. It was at this point that the game regained fame, thanks to the addition of new mobility mechanics, weapons, and, for the first time, a Zero Build mode aimed to assist novice players.Fortnite’s gameplay in Chapter 4 was once again fascinating and dramatic, whether it was the anticipation around MEGA City’s Grind Rails or Attack on Titan’s ODM Gear. Aside from traditional weapons, numerous new weapon types have been included, allowing users to experiment with their approach during matches.
Furthermore, the addition of Unreal Engine 5 allows players to transform the game into a true metaverse area like to Roblox by allowing the development of more immersive experiences. Despite a modest increase in player numbers before to the release of UEFN, Epic reversed the trend with Season OG.It not only brought back memories for gamers by sending them to Chapter 1’s island, but it also featured new mobility mechanics. Former Fortnite players returned, reuniting with old friends on the original island, smashing the game’s all-time player high since stats were made public.
Season OG’s player high was topped by LEGO Fortnite, a surprise update that received a lot of positive feedback from the community. Since then, the player base has been sharing their inventive designs and becoming viral on social media.Fortnite has now blossomed into a thriving ecosystem filled with players of all ages, adding three new game types to its trademark Battle Royale format.
While Epic still has a long way to go with its top Battle Royale title, its comeback tale is one for the ages.