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Delayed, irrelevant, Phenomenon: how Fortnite became the biggest game in the world



If you follow the game closely, you've certainly had some dizzying moments in the last few months when you realize that Fortnite-yes, is Fortnite the hottest thing in the world. Honestly, we've lived in the Fortnite development cycle for seven years, and for the most part, it has a reputation for a troubled project or a piece of flat-bottomed dumping. That Epic has brilliantly proven us all is one of the biggest gambits in the industry's history.

However, this can not be attributed to a poetic fate. Surely, Fortnite finally found Valhalla, but not after resignations, new creations and company-wide restructuring ̵

1; good luck and a lot of hard work. We've flipped through the turbulent history of Fortnite, all of which has been documented in reports submitted by skeptical journalists over the last decade to give you a brief chronicle of Epic's one-time and future king. We start as usual on the VGAs.

10th December 2011: Fortnite officially on the VGAs

The history of Fortnite begins in a moment of incredible optimism. Epic Games had just completed the book on Gears of War 3, completing the company's most profitable and culturally burgeoning boom. They left this publisher behind with Microsoft and planned a new path with a cartoon minecraft lite co-op shooter named Fortnite (stylized as FORTnite at the time). It was announced in a short teaser in the middle of the 2011 VGAs – to give you an idea of ​​how long that was, the game that won this year was Skyrim.

The eternally breezy Cliff Bleszinski took the stage to offer a few succinct details, saying, "We had amazing achievements this year with games like Gears of War and Infinity Blade, but we We decided to take the time to change things a little bit and do something different and fun – imagine a world in which you explore, collect, build, and ultimately survive. "

In 2017, we had the Creative Epic Donald Mustard informed of the chaos of Fortnite's early development when he revealed to Ars Technica that the VGAs revealed orchestrated just three weeks after Epic's design doc. came. Fortnite was neither a game nor a testament to the concept, when Epic told us they did, and that became more apparent as the delays began to pile up.

12th July 2012: Fortnite gameplay for the first time in San Diego Comic Con

In a startling move, Epic decided to avoid the traditional E3 soiree, instead Fortnites coming out in to host the San Diego Comic Con. Coincidentally, I visited this panel as a fan long before I was involved in the game media.

The tone of the show was extremely casual. Bleszinski was there, as well as a selection of senior epic officials, and they all seemed to be incredibly shocked not to develop another fierce, gunfucking Dudebro shooter. (Bleszinski actually showed some early conceptual art that was barren and apocalyptic as an example of what they were trying to avoid once they swung to the vivid look it has today.) Looking back, it is surprising to see this all through To look at uncertainty about the course of Fortnite's development, the overall structure remained fairly constant. In the tech demo we saw, players harvested raw materials to drown fortified farms that were printed blue on an invisible grid. Did Epic think that these creative building tools would be used in a bloodthirsty Deathmatch? Probably not, but these ideas finally paid off.

This was also the panel discussion in which Bleszinski said that Fortnite would be PC-exclusive and that Epic was overjoyed to return to the platform that woos him and the company. Oops!

Summer 2012: Tencent buys a huge stake in Epic, and the company rethinks its priorities while numerous employees go

Jeremy Peel at PCGamesN published a great story back in January on the internal quarrel and reappropriation that Epic pursued in his first post-Gears years. Things get complicated when talking about massive restructuring, but basically, just after Fortnite's announcement, Epic's phantasy realized that the traditional business model of sending a new game every two or three years quickly became untenable. Epic looked at the ridiculous success of League of Legends – a game released by Riot, another independent company – and wanted to create something that was equally self-supporting. For example, it partnered with Tencent, the Chinese multimedia conglomerate, which acquired 40 percent of the company's shares. From the beginning, Fortnite Epic's goal was to create a product that will generate revenue long after the release date, with the first Games as a Service initiative.

The terms of the Tencent purchase were first reported in early 2013 and although this has never been confirmed in detail, it seems probable that the deal resulted in a series of high-profile exits from Epic. Cliff Bleszinski was the first to create BossKey Productions (who last year delivered a decent Arenashooter in LawBreakers). He was succeeded by former President Mike Capps who said he was leaving the industry altogether. We'll probably never know what exactly happened in the intervening years before Fortnite's release date, but, well, seems to be especially happy.

Spring, 2014: Fortnite re-debuts on the cover of Game Informer

The thing about Fortnite is that despite the lengthy development cycle, the enthusiasm for the game has always been positive. It's strange to read Game Informer's glowing cover story four years later – especially considering how Fortnite's eventual early-access release was still three years away – but it looked good! In this feature, Epic announced that Fortnite would include a Diablo-style loot, an RPG progression framework, and most of all free-to-play. Looking back, Rob Zacny's impressions of PCGamesN were equally optimistic: He included his thoughts in a team-based multiplayer mode that felt like a "work-in-progress". Truly, no one discovered the potential of competing Fortnite The moment Battle Royale was released.

17th March 2016: Epic double-down on Paragon, telling fans that Fortnite is still in development

From all the news in this timeline, this one could be the cruelest. Yes, once upon a time, Fortnite's burgeoning fanbase was afraid that Epic's third person, MOBA Paragon, could abort her ambitious building play. This was in early 2016 after Fortnite went through some stress tests and closed betas with no release date in sight. "We expect that we will start with a big successful start and do one after another, Fortnite will be next" CEO Tim Sweeney said. "It's a game that takes time to play properly, it remains a big priority for Epic."

You probably know the story from here. Paragon failed to find a sustainable audience, bouncing around early access for a few more years before being shit by the Epic Braintrust. "The sobering success of Fortnite has led us to question whether we have a good way to grow Paragon and make it prosper" Congregational Coordinator Edgar Diaz said in a non-led position. What a difference a year makes!

25th July 2017: Fortnite finally gaining access

Yes, in the summer of 2017, after six years of development, a massive corporate rescoping, the departure of several important superiors and the impending destruction of Paragon, hit Fortnite Early Access on all platforms … and made a medium sized splash. It's hard to remember that we live in a world where Drake is in the livestream, but I think we all remember people who played this early-access version and with restrained but mostly nice stuff come. The PvE experience (now called Save The World, then simply Fortnite) earned brilliant shots of thoughtful websites and I think most people were happy that Epic finally got out a working piece of software door. Three months later, everything changed.

September 2017: Epic Launches Fortnite: Battle Royale, Bluehole Salty

Okay, here we come. In mid-September Epic released a PvP module for Fortnite, which was without scruples "Fortnite: Battle Royale". In any other year, that would not have been a point of controversy, but by the end of 2017 PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds broke the Twitch and Steam traffic counts and made a pretty convincing argument for becoming the most popular game in the world. Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene is one of the leading thinkers of the Battle Royale genre (he was personally responsible for the Arma mods that originally made the mode popular) and Bluehole began to swing.

"Fortnite can reproduce the experience for which PUBG is known" read a strongly worded press release by PUBG developers Bluehole, which also threatened "further action".

"We have also noted that Epic Games mentions PUBG in promoting Fortnite for their community and in communicating with the press," continued Blueholes Vice President Chang Han Kim . "That was never discussed with us and we do not feel it's right."

The imitator incident referred to by Chang Han Kim came in a Playstation blog post from Epic Creative Director Donald Mustard, who effectively told anyone who complained about epic stealing PUBG's ideas to kick stones. "Yes, we have made a PvP mode for Fortnite" he said . "We love Battle Royale games like PUBG and thought that Fortnite would provide a great foundation for our own version."

At the time, it was depressing that Epic sprinted on a huge multiplayer trend to give some life to a bat project and petty that Bluehole seemed to think that they deserved full ownership of a vague, unpatented genre. Looking back, they may have been right to be scared. As a major stakeholder in Epic Games and the Chinese publisher for PUBG, Tencent wins in both directions.

November 2017: Rocket-Riding sets the tone and cadence for Battle Royale updates

When it was first launched, Fortnite Battle Royale was an empty, cartoonish PUBG impression. Being free did not hurt, but there was not much incentive to make the jump from one to the other, and everyone knows that cartoon graphics are for babies anyway.

But a series of updates, including the discovery of an exploit, quickly changed the direction in which Fortnite grew and how it was perceived.

On October 26, 2017, Epic released Update 1.8, a bundle of minor corrections, changes, and additions in a themed Halloween package. A major component of the update was the addition of pumpkin rocket launchers, a harmless skin of the existing vehicle that did exactly what it advertises. No one is sure who discovered the exploit, but perhaps because the pumpkin rockets were so much bigger than the usual RPGs, players experimented with the jump on them as they passed.

Unfortunately, it worked, leading to some of the most eye-catching and talented kills ever made. The trick was so popular and popular that Epic swept rocket racing back into the rocket launcher and still produced ridiculous games.

Epic reversed a week later with another left-field update and brought bush camouflage into the arena. And the week after, Epic released launch pads, "Traps," which gave players a second chance at parachuting. Both updates, no matter how minor, significantly changed the way Fortnite played in a short space of time, providing countless new ways to use simple tools for cunning and aggression. Fortnite began to develop character, a bright, playful arcade shooter to PUBG's grim, realistic military style.

Since then, Epic has introduced new weapons, new tools, and temporary modes such as 50v50 almost weekly, and shows no signs of stagnation

14. March 2018: Drake plays Fortnite

Drake stares into a golden mug on the cover of his take care album.

As with every major trend in In the world, success is always codified by Drake. In March, Fortnite was put on a truly international platform when celebrities Drake, Travis Scott and JuJu Smith-Schuster came to Megastreamer Ninja for a long night of victory kings. They have broken the attendance record of Twitch with more than 600,000 spectators. Although he was already a big streamer, Ninja's star rose considerably in March. He recorded more than 50,000 new streamers at the end of February and early March before which flowed with Drake. He now recruits more than $ 500,000 a month.

Fortnite is currently the most watched game in the world and has an average of 139,000 viewers on Twitch a week. As Kotaku's Cecilia D & # 39; Anastasio points out, is the double traffic of PUBG the League of Legends had stripped just months before.

This puts PUBG in a unique position. Brendan Greene wrote a blog post outlining the 2018 roadmap. Especially a smaller card and a stupid Emote system – two tricks that come directly from the Fortnite Playbook. How the tables turned!

The rest of 2018 becomes a bloodbath. We already saw that the baton went from H1Z1 to PUBG to Fortnite – everything happened last year. With new genre games on the horizon like The Darwin Project and rumors about real banana experiments like a Battle Royale mode of Red Dead Redemption 2 it feels like this cycle is far from over. One thing we know for sure: There is only one chicken meal.


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