A little over a fortnight of fame

Fortnite peaked in popularity before falling off


Photo contributed by: Dane Wertz (10)

Ready for action: Nathan Wertz (7) boots up Fortnite to save John Wick.

Jayden Rodriguez, Writer

Photo contributed by: Dane Wertz (10)
Ready for action: Nathan Wertz (7) boots up Fortnite to save John Wick.

Video games have so many powers that many people in our society overlook. They have the power to help us escape reality, to make us feel like someone more significant than we are. Debatably, one of the most exciting powers they have is their ability to turn a simple idea into something with an endless amount of fun.

Think about it. Who would have thought a game like Mario Party would be as successful as it is? It’s a game where you and three of your buddies roll a die to move spaces on a board to reach a star. However, along the way, there are random events, Bowser spaces, item shops, battle spaces, Boos, and the list goes on! A star costs twenty coins and after everyone rolls, you all play a mini-game to try and win the ten coins waiting for the winner. The game can cause for some nail-biting moments and arguments.

So what about Fortnite? What does that bring to the table and make a simple idea something that millions of people across the country are spending their time and money on?

More importantly, is Fortnite a good game?

According to sophomore Lane Bokros, it is. “Fortnite capitalized on the battle royale genre at the right time,” Bokros said.

He’s not wrong, seeing how games like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds and H1Z1 had popularized the whole idea of a game where 100-players, give or take a few, are dumped onto a map and the last one standing is declared the winner.

“It had a lot of mass appeal with its cartoonish style for kids and competitiveness for adults,” Bokros said, “It also created a free model, which made it more playable for all audiences to at least try out for themselves.”

Fortnite was able to skyrocket in popularity for that very reason: it was free! Anyone could just give it a shot and see if they liked it or not. This was proven because after asking multiple high schoolers if they played Fortnite or a different battle royale game, and everyone interviewed for this article said they played Fortnite, most of which said it was because it was free.

Something interesting about all of this was how no one that was interviewed said they liked the game anymore, and the leading killer was when the community got infested with 12 year-olds.

“People just want to look cool and say they don’t like it anymore because the community is infected with younger kids,” Heinzer said.

That’s very true, because time and time again, people have stopped liking things mainly due to the community being so toxic. Whether that’s justified or not is another topic of discussion.

We’ve seen it happen with things like Undertale and Five Nights and Freddy’s, both of which are very well made games. But, once the kids get ahold of it, it all goes south from there. First, the “self-proclaimed” artists take interest in it and create strange art pieces for the web. Then, adults try to make money off of the game by making music for YouTube and collecting revenue for zero-effort songs that are related to the game. Before you know it, there’s merchandise for the game, the worst offender being graphic tees, and people instead find more fun in making fun of the game. A specific example of this would be Five Nights at Freddy’s, where channels like “The Living Tombstone” made a song for almost every game that came out in the franchise.

Does that take away from the game, though? Surely the community can’t change how the game is played or what made the game so famous in the first place. However, Rocco Fiore (11) would disagree.

“There’s been a decrease in popularity because the developers have been adding too much to the game like unfunny emotes and dumb skins,” Fiore said, “Better games have come out recently, too.”

However, one more interesting point was brought up, that brought me to the most logical conclusion.

“People are just tired of killing, building, and dancing on people,” Heinzer said. “The satisfaction of winning and being able to do stupid dances isn’t there anymore.”

Could it be that the whole battle royale genre was just a fad? Certain genres will stick with us forever, like platformers (Super Mario Bros. and Crash Bandicoot) and First Person Shooters (Call of Duty and Halo), while others seem to hit the scene and then fade out, occasionally showing back up again, like iOS puzzle games and figure-to-life games.

Perhaps the whole battle royale genre was just there for people to enjoy for a while before they moved onto new games. One guess could be that this game is so popular was because of the constant disappointment people experienced with Triple-A games releasing either remasters or just awful games overall, and they wanted to try something new.

So, is Fortnite a lousy game? No way. However, people are just getting tired of the same formula and are moving on. It was nothing more than a fad, like Pogs or hoverboards. Perhaps the next fad will cost a little more money, as well.