Who Or What’s Killing ‘Fortnite’?

February 21, 2019

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

Back in July of 2017, Epic Games released a multiplayer game that seemed unique at the time, Fortnite. The third-person shooter has players teaming up with friends as they fight off waves of zombies and gather supplies to build up fortifications in order to protect their objective.



Image result for fortnite save the world



The game soon changed into what we now know as today as Fortnite: Battle Royal. In this version, 100 players enter a play area with nothing; they gather supplies, build cover, outrun a health-draining storm, all the while trying to be the last one alive.

In a fortnight (pun intended) the game’s popularity blew up especially with kids (under the age of 18). The game’s bright colors, animations, lack of violence (no blood or gore), humor, and the fact alone that it’s FREE, attracted many players around the world. So why is its popularity declining?

The game became really popular when Youtubers and (Twitch) streamers started playing it. This is possibly where the downfall began for the game. Gaming Youtubers are known to have their favorite games they like to play but one thing many of them like most (besides bitching about monetization and YouTube rules), making money.



Image result for don't care how i want it now gif



Taking advantage of the popularity (and addictive obsession) of Fortnite, many channels have pretty much played this game to death!  In May of 2018, Verto Analytics charted Fortnite players by age where 62.7% of players are 18-24 years old, most YouTubers fall into this age bracket. It should be noted that this chart was charting adult players of the game in the United States.

In the US, children under the age of 18 make up 28% of gamers. It’s safe to say that there’s a strong chance that YouTubers are most likely playing against children and teens which makes great content for the videos and helps boost the YouTuber’s/streamer’s notoriety of being a good gamer. To put it in perspective imagine the rugby scene from Monty Python’s: The Meaning of Life but with virtual characters.





Another reason for Fortnite’s decline is, well, Fortnite itself. Epic Games claimed in November 2018 that the player count for the game is 78.3 million; this came after many players felt that the game was “dying” and took this concern to the game’s own forum, the earliest post that I could find was from June 2018. The crux of fans turning on the game they loved is dwindling numbers (makes it hard to set up squads) and the community is not “noob” (new player) friendly.

Now I’ve never played Fortnite, but I’ve watched a lot of gameplay videos online to see what the hub-bub was all about with the game. Watching the gameplay from a reviewer standpoint, I find the game dull due to its repetitive nature. This probably explains why the game is constantly “updating”, adding new costumes, emotes (that have led to some issues), and content like airplanes and vehicles. If a game is based on repetitive actions, no new content or updates are going to change that which leads to their next issue.


The game is free and relies on microtransactions (MT’s) to make revenue. MT’s is when you use real world money to buy in-game money in order to unlock content or “loot”. Microtransactions are slowly becoming the bane of gaming existence and have even been called out by the gaming world’s most beloved star, Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of “Super Mario”, “Zelda”, “Donkey Kong” and other beloved Nintendo titles.

Then again, there’s an elephant in the room. Like any game, the biggest reason for why Fortnite is dying is possible because of something inevitable happened…a new game came out. Apex Legends, a free to play multiplayer game set in the same universe as Titanfall (years after the second game actually).  It came out this month (February 4th, 2019) and the game was downloaded 25 million times and currently has over 2 million concurrent players.



The one standing in the middle looks like Speed-O’-Sound Sonic from One Punch Man, just say’n



So in the end, who or what’s to blame for Fortnite’s agonizing decline? My personal opinion… it’s a little bit of everything. The game’s sudden rise in popularity may have been too much for the developers to handle leading to some not so good marketing choices. People being reminded wherever they go by seeing children doing the “floss” emote dance in public or seeing Fortnite merchandise in stores.

Obnoxious streamers and YouTubers piggybacking on the game’s popularity for their own benefit could leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. Finally Apex Legends, a newer game that learned from the mistakes of a previous game that offers a whole new experience, of course, you’re going to draw away players from the lobbies of other games.

To be honest, I think Apex Legends will possibly be in the same position this time next year. By nature most gamers don’t like following trends, they rather play what they want rather than what others want them to think they want to play. The worst thing you can do is build up hype around a game and when it does not deliver, no pun intended, game over.

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