Fortnite has become in record time one of the great phenomena in the history of video games. What are the ingredients that made this Epic Games game appeal to so many players around the world? Throwback to a fantastic saga…
In 1991, student Tim Sweeney ventured out to create an adventure game, ZZT. To his great surprise, he is inundated with requests for floppy disks that he has to send by post – the Internet has not yet entered homes. After packing five thousand floppy disks, the decision is made: Tim Sweeney will pursue a career in video games.
Epic Games was established in 1992 – at that time the publishing was called Epic Mega Games. It publishes various games, without causing a sensation, until the idea of creating a “3D engine”, that is to say a software facilitating the creation of animated graphics in three dimensions, emerges. Entitled unreal engine, this 3D engine aims to surpass that of the stars of the time, Doom and Quake from id Software.
A prototype of the Unreal game that exploits this Unreal engine was presented at various shows in 1996 and the buzz had its effect. Even Bill Gates reportedly asked to meet Sweeney.
Unreal was released in the spring of 1998 to rave reviews. He goes so far as to climb to the top of sales. From there, many publishers contact Epic Games so they can use the Unreal engine for their own games. This will be particularly the case of armament of war which was released in 2006 on Xbox 360. Epic Games now has a significant source of revenue from these licenses.
The “Battle Royale” mode
The idea of Fortnite emerges quite early, from the year 2011. It is a cooperative game that is inspired somewhat by armament of war but with a look cartoon which promises a fun experience. However, the game will remain in the cards for seven years.
And then, in March 2017, a game, PUBG, widely popularizes the concept of “Battle Royale” in which dozens of players compete until only one survivor remains.
After observing this phenomenon, Sweeney decides to transform Fortnite in battle royale and the in-house developers dedicate their summer to this task. The new version is ready in September 2017 and Epic Games decides to offer it for free, with purchase options Stakes.
A vertiginous rise in power
Fortnite Battle Royale enjoys a success that surprises even its creators. The ability to fly in the air, the sheaves of light that are triggered during certain shots, the luxuriance of the sets, the richness of the scenarios hit the mark. First of all, Fortnite offers everyone the opportunity to indulge in a game full of frenzy while waiting ten minutes in a waiting room.
Beyond the Battle Royale mode, missions are offered to those who land on this sun-drenched island and everyone can try, somehow, to get into the thread of a vast saga.
Fortnite attracts 10 million players during its first two weeks of operation, then the figures soar: 40, 50, 100, 150 million players… For its part, Epic Games is bent on offering new “seasons” with new new maps, new characters and challenges to overcome, constantly renewing the panorama of thrills.
The game generated $9 billion in revenue in its first two years of operation. A player named Ninja stands out as the flow star of Fortnite with over 23 million subscribers on YouTube.
The hearing of Fortnite becomes such that Epic can offer major events such as dance competitions on its platform. On April 23, 2020, a concert by rapper Travis Scott in an amusement park setting attracted 12.3 million spectators (and even 27.7 counting the four reruns). On May 22 of the same year, the trailer for the film principle by Christopher Nolan premiering on Fortnite. To better exploit the vein, Epic Games organizes world tournaments. And the declination Fortnite Creation allows everyone to create their own levels.
Problem with Apple
The strength of Epic Games has become such that this publisher has been able to impose on the major console manufacturers to authorize cross-platform games: on PS5, on Switch, on PC, on iPad…
However, on August 13, 2020, Fortnite disappeared from the Apple Store. Turns out the iPhone creator didn’t like that Epic Games could sell his in-game goodies bypassing its payment system. A lawsuit ensues between these two juggernauts, each claiming the right to operate as they see fit. Epic Games also sued Google for the same reasons. Fortnite still made a comeback in May 2022 on iPhone and iPad, provided you run it from a web browser.
In 2022, according to Fiction Horizon, Fortnite has 350 million registered users and reportedly had as many as 3 million concurrent players at one point.
Not all news on the site expresses the views of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.