FORTNITE: JUST HOW DID THIS GAME BECOME SO ICONIC?
A study(…?)

By Nicholas Betancur

Perhaps I’m a little biased when it comes to talking about this game. I’ve spent probably no less than FIVE HUNDRED hours playing. Even with all that time I only sit at 369 total wins, which is actually in the top 0.5th percentile according to FortniteTracker.com, so you can see I’m definitely not your average player. BUT I think being so into this game has allowed me to see through the formula of how it’s blown up like it has.

The first thing that comes to mind isn’t even related to gameplay, it’s accessibility. If you want to play Fortnite as you’re reading this, like RIGHT NOW, there are actually so many ways you can. They are as follows: Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, IOS for iPhone, Android for Samsung etc., Microsoft for Personal Computer, and Macintosh OS for Apple computers. Fortnite is downloadable and FREE on all of these platforms. If you were to decide that you wanted to start playing, as someone who never had before, it’s likely you’d be dropping off the battle bus and onto the island about thirty to forty minutes after you make that decision. Don’t worry if you have a buddy you want to squad up with that’s on a different platform from you, Fortnite squads have no locks on any kind of cross platform play. For the first time in gaming a squad of four people all on separate platforms, and I mean ANY mixture of the platforms mentioned previously, can play together and in harmony, like the four nations BEFORE the fire nation attacked.

Fortnite has an ESRB rating of T for Teen, but it seems like this game has become E for Everyone, because some of the most enthusiastic fans are little humans who haven’t even hit
their teens yet. This is no mistake on the part of the developer, Epic Games, either. Fortnite Battle Royale has A LOT of stuff that comes with the term “gameplay.” For someone like me,
that means dropping into the map in a heavily populated area and trying to get as many eliminations as possible while surviving the ever encroaching storm, until I am the only player left alive on the map. That’s called a Victory Royale, folks! But for someone not as boring it means getting all your best friends together in the lobby, customizing your player skin,
backpack, pickaxe, glider, and freefall trail, so your squad looks as fresh as can be. And how could you forget those dances? Boy oh boy does the younger crowd LOVE those
dances. I have to say I can do a couple of them myself, but not nearly as many or as well as the kids I see who come to 5 Wits. When these players drop into the map, more often than not they are looking to have fun, and there is plenty of variety in that area. Fortnite features launch pads (placeable pads that launch you up into the air and give you access to your glider so you can swoop in on an unsuspecting opponent), mobile cannons that your player character can get into and FIRE YOURSELF OUT OF, an ATV-like Quad Crusher (a compact 4 wheeler with a
bumper on the front for crashing and a seat on the back for a friend), HOVERBOARDS (Back to the Future style hoverboards with a built in nitro boost on the bottom), and balloons you can tie
to your back to jump all over the landscape. There is no shortage of wonky ways to get around the map and attack opponents.

This game has something for everyone and can be accessed by almost anyone on any technological platform. When you look at the numbers it becomes pretty clear that it has something for most people with an interest in the shooter genre. You can download the game here! https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/download

Fun fact: There’s actually an under the radar reference to it in our 20,000 Leagues adventure. See if you can find it!

I would rate this 5 out of 5 hands.