Video Game Titans: The Rise of Fortnite

ESPORTSREPORTER.COM / FRANK FILIPPAZZO – STAFF WRITER / JUNE 27TH, 2021 /

Today Fortnite has become one of the biggest games in history. An average of 350 million people play Fortnite a month. Fortnite clothing, figures, and accessories are widely available to the public. But what makes it so popular? The violent cartoon characters? The customizable skins? Ninja gaming and his mad Fortnite skills?

From its initial release, Fortnite took the gaming community by storm. Starting with 1 million users Fortnite will continue to grow to 30 million a few months later. The increasing popularity of Fortnite has had a direct correlation with the popular gaming streaming service, Twitch. As more and more gamers start streaming their games on the site, many of them stream Fortnite, thus promoting its popularity. It has never been any easier to watch Fortnite. All you need is a device with an internet connection and enough memory space to download the program. Famous Fortnite streamers include Ninja, Dakotaz, Bugha, TFue. If you have notifications on, it would seem like these guys are streaming 24/7. 

Popular streamers like Ninja helped catapult Fortnite into the mainstream eye. Ninja made history it wasn’t a game like any other because this game had famous rapper Drake

Fortnite saw a huge increase in popularity after its battle royal mode was released in September of 2019. The game has been a hot topic for many people including celebrities such as musicians, actors, and athletes. Ninja’s live stream with Drake was a momentous occasion in the gaming community, not just because it was Drake but because they also set a live stream world record with over 600,000 people watching.

As the popularity of Fortnite grows, so does the culture surrounding it, and so does the competition. Competitive gaming is an effective way to gain attention and grow as a community. The first Fortnite world cup was a big part of its popularity.  The Fortnite World Cup Champion was a three-day Fortnite competition with over 2.3 million people tuning in. In it, gamers saw themselves, average teens, who play a lot of video games with the potential to make a lot of money. 

Back in the beginning the developers said how Fortnite was unlike any other game, however, a lawsuit was filed by the creators of a similar game, Player’s Unknown Battleground (PUBG). In May 2018, PUBG sued Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite. By the time Fortnite was released in 2017 PUBG had 7 million users, seven times that of Fortnite. The hype of PUBG was carried on through Fortnite allowing it to explode to the mainstream.

As the popularity of Fortnite grew, so did the controversy surrounding it. PUBG creators felt that Fortnite’s success was mainly because of being copyrighted. Fortnite had similar ideas to the already well-known PUBG. 

Instead of a cargo plane drop-off, players jump from a Battle Bus suspended in the air by a hot air balloon. However, controversy struck when game developer PUBG sued Fortnite for making a similar game to them. Both games have a Battle Royal mode where a large number of people battle each other. The games start very similarly to, both games drop you from an aircraft from the beginning of the game.

In PUBG, you jump out of a plane and parachute down to the ground. In Fortnite, you jump out of a Battle bus and glide down. Their game modes are similar in Fortnite and PUBG users can play solo modes by themselves, duos with a partner, or squads with a small group. Fortnite has the edge because they also allow limited-time game modes where they offer 5-teams of 20 players or a sniper game mode. The biggest similarity is both games run on the same engine, which makes the games have a similar feel. This means players who play one or the other game will already know what it’s like to play the other game just from playing their competitor’s first. The lawsuit was dropped as quickly as it was drafted. After a few weeks, PUBG eventually dropped it, but there is still no denying the similarities between the two games. 

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