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What is Fortnite?

One game took the world by storm at its release in 2017, and coming up on five years later, Fortnite still has a hold on pop culture. Fortnite is consistently one of the most watched game titles on Twitch, with one of the widest viewer bases of any game. Fortnite is a third person shooter, meaning that you see the space around your character but still have a limited perspective of what you can see as you play. It is also in the battle royale genre. Battle royale games are played with a last man standing approach. There is no respawning in a match, and you want to eliminate the other 99 players to come out on top.


Fortnite has some of the best accessibility in terms of competitive game titles. Fortnite is playable on PC/MAC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and mobile. It is a cross-platform game, meaning that you can play on PC with your friend who plays on Xbox. All players need to do to play cross-platform is to add each other as friends through their Epic Games account, which is needed to sign into the game.


Fortnite was far from the first battle royale game and will not be the last. Z1 Battle Royale, formerly known as H1Z1, kickstarted the battle royale movement with its release in 2015. It was popular, but not a worldwide hit. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds “PUBG” and Fortnite both came out in 2017 with their own versions of the battle royale format. Unlike PUBG, Fortnite was released as a free-to-play game, which gave it accessibility over PUBG and a way to gain quick traction. Fortnite is unlike most popular shooter games as it has a very animated, kid-friendly graphics style. This appealed to a wider age group as well as decreased the computing capacity needed to play the game on devices like smartphones. Fortnite also innovated the genre by adding a seemingly clunky mechanic of building structures. Though this mechanic seemed out of place, it actually raised the level of skill needed to succeed in the game, further broadening its audience.


One way that Fortnite blew up over other video game titles is through the community surrounding the game. Richard Blevins, username Ninja, is a professional Fortnite player, streamer, and Youtuber that became a worldwide icon for his talent in Fortnite. Almost every kid that plays Fortnite aspires to be as good as Ninja, who became the unofficial face of Fortnite. As of December 2021, he had the most-followed twitch channel with 17 million followers. Ninja won the first content creator skin in-game, meaning that players can make their avatar look like the famous Fortnite player in-game.

Partnerships with other brands grew the game even further. Fortnite has managed to partner with iconic brands such as Marvel, NFL, Jordan and Travis Scott - to name a few. Now you can go in-game and play as your favorite Marvel superhero or pro football player. Fortnite became more than just a game, it is a pop culture phenomenon.


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