Is Fortnite Dead?

If you weren’t already aware or have never heard about Fortnite: Battle Royale by Epic Games, here’s a little overview. Fortnite: Battle Royale is a free Player vs. Player (PvP) Battle Royale game in which 100 players use assets and gameplay elements, like building structures, to square off against each other in a fight for survival, with the last living player crowned the winner. This game, which many of you are familiar with, is currently the subject of controversy: is Fortnite dying, dead, or still alive and in its prime? I will explain both sides of this controversy, and you can decide for yourself which side you believe.

Fortnite is Dead?

Fortnite is broken into seasons, each of which—except for Season 1—has a Battle Pass of rewards that players can purchase the pass for $9.50. This pass allows players to progressively rank up in tiers and unlock skins, emotes, V-Bucks, etc. I, along with other players who were around for the earlier seasons, believe that these items keep getting worse and worse every season. Sooner or later, Epic may just run out of ideas for the Battle Pass rewards. Skins, emotes, and other cosmetic items are also available daily in the item shop. Some skins are only released a few times, and a rare skin is often the sign of a good player when you see them in the in-game lobby or playing field. Some of these “OG” skins, such as the Red Knight and Skull Trooper, have been re-released into the item shop, driving some of the players who originally had these skins away from the game. Some rare skins, like skins that were released around Christmas last year, are still considered rare and valuable items. With Christmas just around the corner, the potential re-release of these skins could lead to a greater decline in the Fortnite fanbase.

Players have also quit playing Fortnite because of some of the game mechanics. In general, there are four types of weapons in Fortnite: short-ranged weapons (shotguns, SMGs, and pistols), medium-range weapons (assault rifles), long-range weapons (snipers), and explosive weapons (RPGs, grenades, etc.) (Some weapons can be classified into more than one group.) Certain changes in weapon ranges, damage, etc., have turned players away from Fortnite. The shotgun used to have tons of range, and you were also able to “double-shotgun” (switch between shotguns quickly to reduce their reload time). After Epic Games removed these features from the shotgun, some players ditched the game completely in favor of more skill-based battle royales. Recently, Epic has given a hefty amount of damage back to the shotgun, but the double-shotgun meta is unlikely to make a return to Fortnite.

Fortnite is Alive!

For one, plenty of people still play Fortnite – estimates range around almost 80 million monthly players, and the game is constantly breaking records – and Epic Games releases new content nearly daily. Platform content creators, such as Ninja and Alia, provide entertaining perspectives on the game’s new items and game modes. Season 7 of Fortnite has proved fairly exciting, with a whole new winter biome expanding the map. Airplanes have also been added at certain locations, shifting the balance between ground and air vehicles. The new Creative mode allows players to create their own structures and battle with unlimited resources and ammo. On Saturday, the Nog Ops and Yuletide Ranger (rare Christmas skins from last year) were released back into the item shop. This may drive some players who originally had these skins away from the game, but they may also be the first skins that players purchase, or skins that are attractive to gamers elsewhere.

The one main reason that I believe Fortnite is still a living game is because it is unique, unlike any other shooters before it. Players must know a multitude of strategies, such as when to hardscope versus quick scope with snipers, how to obtain the high ground in build battles, and which meds to use in order. Modes like Solo provide more competitive gameplay, while multiplayer modes allow you to have fun playing with your friends. Unlike many other first- and third-person shooters, Fortnite is a less graphic game with minimal realistic violence; even the skins are less realistic than in games such as PUBG, since Fortnite players can don burger costumes, football jerseys and many other creative cosmetics available for purchase.

Yes, I believe that Fortnite has some flaws, like releasing some horrible-looking skins in the item shop and breaking a few of the gameplay mechanics, but other than these minor setbacks, Fortnite has many welcoming qualities, such as its vibrant colors and strategy-based gameplay. I continue to play Fortnite in my spare time, and the feeling I have when I win never gets old. Until another developer can match the creativity of Fortnite, it will continue being an excellent example of modern gaming.