If someone took a break from the internet around 2016 and came back today, they would be so confused. Everywhere they turn online, they would hear mentions of “Fortnite”, but they would have no idea what it means!
That is because Fortnite did not even exist until 2017 – and now it has taken over the internet.
What is Fortnite?
A game developed by Epic Games in 2017, Fortnite has many different modes that users can enjoy. The most popular game mode in Fortnite is the “Battle Royale,” where users are able to jump into a game and compete against others to see who can survive the longest.
The game started on Windows PCs, while it quickly moved to macOS, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. It is now available on Apple smartphones, while it is emerging on the Android market by the middle of 2018.
For a game that only came out less than a year ago, Fortnite has amassed an impressive 125 million players. Through skins, items and other online commodities, the game is able to earn hundreds of millions every single month.
How Fortnite Became a Success
When someone plays Fortnite for the first time, they may be confused about why it is such a phenomenon. The game’s graphics are almost like a cartoon. They are very basic, which is why it can be played on almost any decent computer system.
Even the shooting and fighting mechanisms in the game are very basic. But what Fortnite has managed to achieve is mass cultural appeal.
Perhaps the biggest reason for its success is the fact that it is free to download and play. Some modes require payment, but the popular Battle Royale mode is completely free. Anyone with a computer, console or phone that runs Fortnite can download the game and start playing. It is why the game was able to explode its user base to such high numbers.
With other games, people may hear about it and get excited. But when they go to try it out, they have to pay $5, $10, $20 or even more which becomes a barrier to entry. No such barrier exists with Fortnite!
Easy to Learn – Hard to Win
Another reason why it is such a success is because the game is easy to learn. There are only a few controls. It can be played just as easily with a controller as with a keyboard and mouse combo. Now it is playable through touch screens, with its introduction to the iOS (and soon Android) platform.
Since the game is a fully online experience, it is very difficult to win a round. But anyone can load up the game, start playing and have a lot of fun. That is why it has become such a phenomenon.
The Future of Fortnite and Similar Games
What can Fortnite teach other game developers? The biggest lesson is that compelling games that create an outstanding user experience will succeed in this market.
It also shows mobile game developers that instead of focusing on microtransactions to make money, they should spend more time developing a compelling product. People are more likely to spend on microtransactions if they love the game, which is why the core experience must always take precedence!
These days, it is difficult to spend ten minutes online without reading or hearing something about Fortnite. It is the game that exploded onto the scene and took over the digital world.