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Why everyone is going crazy for Fortnite

Hiding%2C+running%2C+and+gliding%2C+Fortnite+players+prepare+to+battle+it+out+to+see+who+will+become+victorious.+Students+of+Millbrook+can+take+turns+playing+this+popular+video+game+in+the+Media+Center+on+March+23%2C+via+the+Video+Game+Club.
Hiding, running, and gliding, Fortnite players prepare to battle it out to see who will become victorious. Students of Millbrook can take turns playing this popular video game in the Media Center on March 23, via the Video Game Club.

Hiding, running, and gliding, Fortnite players prepare to battle it out to see who will become victorious. Students of Millbrook can take turns playing this popular video game in the Media Center on March 23, via the Video Game Club.

flickr.com

flickr.com

Hiding, running, and gliding, Fortnite players prepare to battle it out to see who will become victorious. Students of Millbrook can take turns playing this popular video game in the Media Center on March 23, via the Video Game Club.

Seraphin Kibonge, Social Media Editor

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 Seemingly every other day, an item is introduced into pop culture that instantly becomes a sensation. The new item this time around is the video game Fortnite, specifically, the battle royale mode within the game, developed by Epic Games, or Epic. The premise behind Fortnite: Battle Royale is simple: land in a server filled with 99 other players, find treasure chests that will provide beneficial resources, and survive until you are the last man standing. This system keeps players coming back for more, as they are always looking to earn the number one finish, or as Fortnite puts it, “victory royale.”

 Fortnite: Battle Royale was not the original vision Epic Games had for the video game. The original mode, dubbed as Fortnite: Save the World, was released on July 25, 2017, at full retail price, which is typically $60 for a game. This mode allowed four friends to come together in a zombie-infested open world and combat the undead by building forts and shooting a wide variety of weapons. The original game did not have a successful launch and left Epic Games at crossroads of what to do next. After seeing the positive public reaction to another battle royale game, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG, Epic Games decided to put their own spin on the genre. Using a more light-hearted atmosphere, with cartoonish graphics and dancing emotes, and with popular Youtube personalities releasing videos of the fun moments they have in Fortnite, the casual gamers got into the game as well. This was also aided by Epic’s decision to release Fortnite: Battle Royale as free-to-play, rather than $60 like its original mode. Instead of charging that $60 up front, Epic makes money from Fortnite in forms of microtransactions. These microtransactions are all cosmetic based, with none having an impact on actual player performance, which allowed the game to avoid the dreaded “pay-to-win” tag that other companies are facing. With over 45 million players on Fortnite, it is safe to say that this decision paid off.

 The popularity of Fortnite has reached astronomical heights in pop culture, with celebrities from all professions, including sports, gaming, and music coming together to play this game. Last week, a Twitch stream involving rappers Drake and Travis Scott, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Juju Smith-Schuster, and pro gamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins playing Fortnite broke many of Twitch’s streaming records. This shows the monumental interest in the game as a whole and how much it has accomplished in such a short amount of time. The popularity has also reached Millbrook High School, with the video game club hosting a Fortnite tournament on Friday, March 23 in the Media Center. Senior Jack Saundercook said, “Bring five dollars or five cans of food; we are going to have a blast this Friday.”

Epic Games is also in the process of releasing a mobile version of Fortnite on both IOS and Android phones. Exclusive invites have been emailed out to users who have signed up for testing. Epic Game’s hope is that one day the fun of Fortnite will be shared amongst all people, regardless of device constraints. With the amount of hype surrounding this game, it is fair to say that Fortnite will be a major part of pop culture for the foreseeable future.

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