Fortnite is one of the most popular video games of all time, with 350 million registered players, but it’s much more than that.
It’s a bona fide cultural phenomenon, with celebrities like Drake, Marshmello, and Ariana Grande (who performed a concert inside the Fortnite game world) promoting it.
According to documents revealed in Epic Games’ high-profile court battle with Apple, the game made $9 billion (£6.5 billion) in two years.
Millions of people watch Fortnite’s ‘Live Events,’ which are 3D events held within the game world, and they’ve helped to stoke interest in the concept of a ‘metaverse,’ or shared virtual world, which Epic and Facebook are both investing in.
A Popular Fortnite streamer Ninja is a global celebrity: As of this summer, Ninja had 16 million Twitch followers, making him the most popular streamer on the planet.
The game has a devoted following among children under the age of ten (as well as teenagers), and primary school playgrounds are littered with strange slang from the game, such as ‘cranking 90s,’ which refers to building protective walls at a 90-degree angle.
The game is a ‘Battle Royale,’ similar to previous hits like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, in which 100 players are thrown into an arena and the last one standing wins.
It’s also free to play on almost every platform, from the PC to the PlayStation 4 to the Nintendo Switch, with players paying for outfits (‘skins’) and other in-game items instead.
This, of course, contributed to its growing popularity among children under the age of ten.
Fortnite added a building system to the battle royale formula, allowing players to build walls to hide behind and towers to snipe from.
It also had its own cartoon-like world, in which players jump from a party bus onto a colorful island surrounded by a storm that closes in on them, forcing them to fight at increasingly close quarters.
Fortnite Battle Royale stands out by trading the traditional, bland military simulation vibe for vivid colors and an outstanding, freeform building system that’s unlike anything else in competitive multiplayer games,’ according to IGN.