“Fortnite”: The game that took the world by storm

A trailblazer in the video game industry, “Fortnite” pushes inclusion among gamers.


Russell Spacy, Freelance Writer

By this point, I doubt that you have not heard of “Fortnite.” Developed by Epic Games in 2017, it started as a small free-to-play game with a simple premise: your character gets thrown onto an island with 99 other players. You must traverse the map, gathering materials and weapons to defend yourself from other players, who kill each other off until only one survives.

In less than a year it exploded into one of the most played games in the world. Fortnite now not only affects the ways video games are played, but also how they are made. The game pushes you to work with your teammates, be competitive and strategize the next best moves. Furthermore, its free-to-play nature encourages other video game developers to follow a similar formula.


President of the Biola eSports club and junior studio arts major Ben Morse believes the game’s all-inclusive and competitive nature make it that much more fun to play.

The game is so popular with all ages because it is simple to get into, and difficult to master,” Morse said in an email. “It is satisfying to do well, and the games are quick enough that you feel like you can ‘just get one more game in’ before stopping. You feel like you can do better, and the ‘Victory Royale’ is always in reach, so it brings you back for more.”

Morse also believes the free-to-play nature of the game draws in players, especially children.

“That’s a huge barrier torn down for millions of kids who can’t afford the average game that costs upwards of $60,” Morse said in the email.

Its accessibility may be its greatest strength. Not only is it free to play, but it is also cross-platform, meaning players from any game console can play together. This cross-platform communication was once unheard of in video game culture, as Xbox would never work with Playstation, nor would they ever work with the Nintendo Switch. It simply adds more avenues of connections.

This game has continued its upward trajectory by becoming more than just a gaming fad. In May of 2018, prominent streaming service Twitch broke records for the most-viewed stream when streaming star Ninja squaded up with none other than rapper Drake.

The Verge reported, “Ninja played a few matches just with Drake, and then all four got together for some team action. At its peak, the stream was trending on Twitter and hit 628,000 concurrent viewers, smashing the previous record of 388,000 viewers for a single-player stream.”  

I saw the game’s effect firsthand last summer, children everywhere tortured their Vacation Bible School leaders at my church, trying to teach them popular “Fortnite” dances like “the floss.” More recently, “Fortnite” is pushing boundaries with more music artists. On Feb. 2, popular DJ Marshmello even performed a live concert inside Fortnite.


The Wall Street Journal reported, “The pop-culture mashup spoke not only to the game’s broad popularity but to its potential as a stage for all kinds of entertainment.”  

This event has changed gaming even if the effects are not yet evident. In the future we may see more of these other forms of entertainment and cultural significance seep into not only Fortnite but gaming as a whole. Freshman biblical and theological studies major and avid gamer Jaloni Wilson loves the competitive aspect of Fortnite, and the challenge of learning the game’s mechanics brings him back constantly to play.

“The games design, the visuals, it’s fun, it’s colorful. And because of the competitiveness and the way they implemented the game mechanics into the game, making it very versatile in how to play,” Wilson said.

When considering the success of “Fortnite,” it is clear to see how it propelled the battle royale genre. Battle royale games will always feel new simply because each match will always be different. While Fortnite certainly did not invent the genre, its mass popularity has pushed game developers to create their own versions of the genre. Even video game giant “Call of Duty” ventured into battle royale territory with “Black Ops 4.”

Fortnite’s” impact on video game culture is profound. Not only does it allow anyone with a game console to play it, but it is also allowing a new genre to take over the video game market. Fun and competitive, “Fortnite” has dominated the video game world for the last few years, so we will have to see how much more of an impact the game will continue to have.

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