Fortnite. Fortnite. Fortnite. Everyone is all about the Fortnite hype for the last 5 months every since Epic Games transitioned to battle royale from their original plan, Fortnite: Save The World – a 4-player co-op PvE that implements the survival-builder elements like Minecraft and Rust, with the horde mode that comes in waves, which we have seen in similar games such as Gears of War and Call of Duty Zombies.
The game was originally announced back in 2011 at the Spike Video Game Awards and was released on July 25, 2017, as paid Early Access for $40. According to reviews by the players, it was actually a really good team-based game, in which a lot would say it’s “Minecraft meets Left 4 Dead”. The cartoony graphics were appealing to look at and had subtle humor to it besides the somewhat dark lore of the game. Honestly, it was well-received, bringing back 4-player coop PvE since the glory days of Left 4 Dead.
So what happened to Save the World? Did it just die down? Let’s take a look at how Fortnite evolved from a cooperative-savvy game title to one of the biggest multiplayer games in the market right now.
From the constant popularity of Minecraft, lots of game developers created their own version of the “survival” genre: Rust, Ark and, Conan are to name a few.
As the interest of a large number of gamers that seem to be still quite interested in such gameplay, another development team would create a different kind of survival mode modded from the military shooter, Arma 2. Dean Hall, the lead designer of Bohemia Interactive, brought a new kind of survival multiplayer that featured zombies, player necessities, and permadeath. The game is now known today as Dayz—a game that went from an ARMA 2 back in 2009 and into a standalone title in 2013, as Early Access on Steam.
The game was given mixed reviews based on the Steam community—some call it “buggy as hell”, some are just sick from all the hackers while some do enjoy the realistic survival aspect of it. However, as the game was in Early Access hell for 5 years now, people have grown weary of it and wanted a new kind of survival—one that had minimal bugs, faster gameplay, and intense firefights.
In 2015, a new game went out as Early Access too in the Steam platform—it was called “H1Z1” (formerly “H1Z1: King of the Kill”) by Daybreak Game Company, a multiplayer experience where 100 players square off against each other in an island. Death was permanent in a match so that meant you either kill or be killed. It was a much faster pace than DayZ, however, there were lots of times when it was just plain boring until you found your enemy. The safe circle for players shrinks as the game goes on until it becomes so small that no cover will ever make the remaining few safe. H1Z1, just like DayZ, had its ups and downs in the reviews. The survival game had its full release just last February 2018.
In 2016, a team called Xaviant established a new form of survival game called The Culling—a first-person game that featured creating your own weapons and items while killing off the others on the island. It had the same safe zone system and permadeath as H1Z1, however, the game had constant bad reviews due to excessive bugs. It was released as a full game in October 2017.
On March 2017, PUBG—PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was released on Steam. What happens next would redefine the face of multiplayer throughout all gaming platforms. In the wake of PUBG, tons of Twitch streamers began broadcasting it, introducing a new line of competitive multiplayer to the table. It had a mix of everything—nerve-racking shootouts, low to midkey paranoia of present danger of enemies within the field, fast-paced gunplay, and even stories to tell. The goal of PUBG is very similar to H1Z1 and The Culling: Be #1 or die trying. Unlike the other two, this one had a more realistic take on both graphics, bullet physics, recoil and gun sounds. Because of the influence of Twitch streamers, the game blew out of proportions to become the #1 most played multiplayer game on Steam for months, starting from July that same year.
Amidst the now-called “Battle Royale” type of survival game, Epic Games conducted their own version for just a few months, despite all their hard work on Save the World. On September 2017, Fortnite Battle Royale was released on their Epic Game Launcher as Free to Play Early Access. Ever since the deployment of it, Fortnite has become the #1 highest player activity since the 3rd quarter of 2018. The game receives tons of update almost every week.
But what about their PvE? Will it decline? Shall their original idea (ironically involving Cliff Bleszinski who now made his own BR game called Radical Heights) be dragged into the trash? Will the focus on Save the World and its loyal and appreciative fanbase be ignored? We can never know. Take note that ever since Fortnite BR, they have decided to close down their MOBA game Paragon on April 28, 2018 and have not updated Unreal Tournament since last year.