The Fortnite Addiction

By Ian Shimizu, Reporter

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Why are girlfriends getting mad at their boyfriends for ignoring them? Why did 628,000 people have the same stream open on March 14? Why did massive popular rapper Drake stay up one night until 3 am when he had to wake up at 6 for an important event?

The answer is Epic Games’ Fortnite. A game of around 45 million people play and a game that seems to just keep growing.

So why is the game so popular? Why is one blue haired dude that goes by the name of Ninja becoming a beloved celebrity and playing the game with guys like Drake, Travis Scott, and Marshmello?

Well, the answer is fairly simple but also complex.

First off, the easy part. The game is free. This allows anyone with a PC, gaming console, or recently, with the mobile version of the game, even Apple devices to download the game and play as much as they like completely free of charge. PUBG, Fortnite’s main rival, costs $30 to download. Most popular games in 2018 cost $60. Free games also mean more players, so it’s also extremely easy and fun to play with friends in squads or duos. Fortnite is unique in this way.

Tyler Blevins, known more commonly as Ninja, who currently makes around $500,000 a month off of playing the game through Twitch, spoke to CNBC News about the craze.

“I think it’s the combination of a lot of things, the fact that it’s free to play is super huge, and the fact that it’s across all platforms- your Xbox, PlayStation, and PC- (and)they just released their mobile version on IOS, which is very difficult to get done. Just the accessibility and how friendly the game is-they’re just hitting every single mark, perfectly.”

Ninja is the most popular Twitch streamer ever. He is perhaps the most skilled Fortnite player on the planet, with over 2,000 wins on his plate. On March 14, he broke streaming records when he squaded up with popular rappers Drake and Travis Scott as well as Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver Juju Smith-Schuster.

I am among those addicted to the game. I consider myself fairly skilled, but really I am an average player compared to the people making money off of playing the game. Recently, I have been spending at least 2 hours daily in matches.

Numbers like this assert Fortnite’s domination in the gaming world.

 

In my opinion, the game’s popularity goes beyond just being free. There’s a fierce competition feeling when you’re fighting someone else, and the fact that there are so many components to the game means that if you want to get better you have to spend hours feeling everything out. This is why, in my opinion, why everyone that plays the game casually ends up becoming addicted. The fact that it’s a 100 player Battle Royale intensifies this feeling of competitiveness.

Another facet of the game that makes it popular is building. This adds an element to the game few other shooting games possess. In games like Call of Duty, the player who shoots first usually gets the kill. In Fortnite, building allows skill to show more. If you can get high ground on someone or build quick one by ones, you automatically have the advantage on those who are bad at building or don’t build at all.

And of course, you have the updates. Epic Games comes out with new updates about once a week that changes a few things or adds a few things. This keeps the game feeling fresh.

These are the main reasons why the game is popular. Recent updates that have been negatively reviewed by long-term players and server issues make me wonder just how long the game will stay relevant, but as of right now, the game is in the middle of a craze. It should continue to be massively popular for at least the next few months, considering huge YouTubers like TSM Myth and Daequan Loco have signed contracts to play the game for extended periods of time, and casual players don’t seem to be going anywhere.

 

 

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