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Fortnite: Battle to the Top

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Fortnite, a new video game developed by Epic Games, has gained immense popularity within the past few months. It has gained the attention of both hardcore and casual gamers alike, making it the most played game of 2018. However, is Fortnite necessarily as amazing as everyone claims it to be? To understand the juggernaut of a franchise Epic Games has successfully created, we must first understand exactly what Fortnite is.

Fortnite was originally released as a cooperative game, priced at $60, known as Fortnite: Save the World. The premise of the game was to survive against hordes of zombie-like creatures, all while building forts to protect yourself from the waves. However, this game never picked up off the ground; therefore, Epic Games decided to add a free-to-play Battle Royale game mode to Fortnite. In Fortnite: Battle Royale, a squad of four, duo, or single player must face off against 100 other players to be the last one to survive. Each player starts off with an empty inventory, and when they are released from a flying bus, they must scavenge for weapons and health in order to compete. They must do all of this while a storm forces all remaining players to a smaller, more confined area in the map. The simple, yet refreshing, multiplayer aspect of Fortnite: Battle Royale made the game instantly popular. Considering that the mode was free to download on any console, also allowed it to grow. The excitement around this game found its way to lunch conversations in schools, to social media, and to the news.

Although Fortnite introduces a fresh game mode to many players for a cheap price, it is not completely deserving of its fame. One reason is that the game is very much a reskin of the popular PC title, Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG). Everything from PUBG’s mechanic to enter the map, to the storm system is completely the same. In both games, players must scavenge for health and weapons as well. The only unique mechanic added into Fortnite’s Battle Royale is building, which primarily acts as a barrier for defense. However, Fortnite gets credit for bringing the Battle Royale game mode to consoles.

Another reason why Fortnite does not deserve high praise is because of its financial strategy. Yes, the game might be free for download and anyone can enjoy it; however, Epic Games find absurd ways to reel in revenue. They put new character skins for sale, which appeal to the young players of the game. Instead of using skins to motivate the player to continue playing, it has an adverse effect. The young players tend to buy the skins using their parents’ money, and then when they are bored with the skins after a few days, they buy another one, only for the cycle to continue. Essentially, they are wasting money in an effort to dress their virtual characters for about a week. A battle pass also comes out every few months. In these battle passes, new challenges are given to the consumer, which awards the player when completed with skins exclusive to the battle pass, along with other things. Although this seems as if it solves the problem of children having no motivation to work for an award, it is essentially the same thing because you are paying the company to give you exclusive skins and items masked behind a written set of instructions that probably took them 10 minutes to come up with. A smarter way to make revenue off the game could be to make new content. They could develop new maps for the players, or possibly an extension to the game, such as adding a story mode. This way the consumer can pay for something that has actual replay value, instead of building a virtual wardrobe. However, if the game was not free and being constantly updated, maybe it would have never become famous. Maybe Epic Games needed to design its plan this way in order to get people to play its free game, but also make some money off of their work.

Fortnite is a fun, simple game that has the world going crazy at the moment. It seems as if everyone is playing this game. However, Epic Games’ blatant copy of Player Unknown Battlegrounds, as well as its questionable financial strategy makes this game not worthy of the praise it has been receiving.

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Fortnite: Battle to the Top