Night Night, Fortnite

Kieran Petrosky, Student Writer

“Fortnite”, a free-to-play battle royale shooter game that launched in July 2017, has been dominating the gaming world for nearly a year now. Once a co-op shooter survival game, Epic Games, the company which created the game, released a battle royale version of the game, where 100 players are dropped throughout the map and fight until there is one man standing. It didn’t take long for the game to catch on, reaching 125 million users by May of 2018. “Fortnite” quickly became a staple in pop culture, with celebrities such as Drake jumping on the bandwagon. Streamers, including Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, have made full-time careers from the video game.

Today, however, it appears that the popularity around “Fortnite” is diminishing just as quickly as it became popular. Research Entertainment, the developer of “Titanfall”, released a new battle royale game called “Apex Legends”, which was then published by the world EA. The game, which was released in early February, has already smashed multiple records previously held by “Fortnite”. “Apex Legends” saw 25 million players in its first week. For reference, it took “Fortnite” two weeks to reach just 10 million new users. “Apex” has also taken over the streaming community, with 8.28 million hours of “Apex Legends” gameplay being streamed in a single day on the streaming platform Twitch. The previous record was 6.6 million hours, which was held by “Fortnite”.

Why are all of the players suddenly abandoning “Fortnite” for this new game? Well, “Apex Legends” provides some new features that made the game attractive for many. Firstly, the game looks much more realistic and less cartoony, something which “Fortnite” was often criticized for. It also provides a unique feature where a player can be respawned into the game after they’re killed. Many players praise this second chance feature as a great way to keep players playing, in addition to many other unique features in the game. “Apex Legends” has also taken other aspects from other games and added them to the battle royale setting. “Overwatch”, a multiplayer first-person shooter game, has a variety of characters, which are called heroes, that players can choose. Each hero has unique “regular abilities” and an “ultimate ability” that charges up during the round. “Apex” provides players with 8 legends to choose from. These legends also have several abilities and an ultimate ability, although they differ from the abilities found in “Overwatch”.

There are also rumors that “Apex” plans to release more legends soon, which will bring even more attention to the young game.

Matt Eissler, a senior at Pennridge High School, enjoys how “Apex Legends” has taken a different approach to battle royale. He prefers “Apex” over “Fortnite”, claiming that it is a better game because “it allows players to respawn and continue in the game”. He also enjoys that “Apex” provides “smaller maps, shorter games, and more realistic characters”.

Cameron Daly, also a senior at Pennridge High School, still believes “Fortnite” is the better game. He prefers “Fortnite” because of the “building aspects and the emotes”, both of which “Apex Legends” currently does not provide. However, Daly expresses his concern that “Apex” will kill off Fortnite in the future, something which could happen if “Apex” implements some of the strengths of “Fortnite” into their own game.

The developers of “Fortnite” appear to be in panic mode, trying to hold onto the game’s relevancy and bring some of the players back.

One feature “Apex Legends” has also been praised for was a pinging system, which allows players to mark enemies, locations, or loot for their teammates. This provides better communication between teammates without having to type in chat or use a microphone.

Unsurprisingly, “Fortnite” recently released an update with a pinging system that is eerily similar to the one found in “Apex Legends”. It has also been rumored that “Fortnite” is going to be implementing a respawn system into their game in the near future.

So, is “Fortnite” going to completely die off in the near future? Probably not. “Fortnite” has captured the hearts of many players and there is still a strong following for the game. There are also some advantages “Fortnite” still has over “Apex Legends”. The realistic aspect of “Apex” means it will be harder to run smoothly, so if you plan to play on PC you’ll need a good computer. “Fortnite” also still provides unique features loved by many, including their building system.

“Fortnite” will still be popular for years to come. However, it seems as the damage has already been done, and it is unlikely they’ll ever be able to replicate the same success they saw a year ago.