Hey mates, been a bit! So we’re all likely in agreement that Fortnite at this exact moment in time isss, pretty blasé. There’s a lot of reasons for that. Per the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy though, don’t panic. For starters, anyone who’s been with the game for a while now KNOWS this is how things get towards the end of every season / event. We’re all pretty much done with the event game type, we’ve all finished all the event quests, we’ve all collected all the event loot, and nobody needs any more tickets for llamas, so there’s not too much reason to play anything. That’s not new. What is new, is the situation we find Fortnite in as a whole. I don’t just mean StW, Fortnite as a game entirely – is at a crucial point in its lifespan. For just about a year and a half now, Fortnite Battle Royale has dominated the Fortnite brand, international phenomena that it is – and has been the driving force behind the game’s development (yes, even for StW) – and rise to fame. We get their new gadgets as junk, we get their new skins as heroes, we get their map changes as event themes. Right now, Fortnite Battle Royale is (as I predicted some time ago but will not gloat too heavily about predicting) in its first decline since its release. The biggest contributor towards this, is Apex Legends. Battle Royale FINALLY has a serious competitor that challenges it for its player base / consumer market (and has so far succeeded in doing so). The result of this being, a tremendous portion of the Battle Royale playerbase, and thus – the Fortnite playerbase, has left it in favor of Apex Legends. Where does that leave us though, as Save the World / original Fotnite game folk?I believe, it actually favors us. Fortnite Battle Royale (in my opinion) can’t compete with the experience Apex Legends is offering in the same market as Fortnite. Plain and simple. The engine and core of Fortnite just don’t perform to the level of highly tuned gunplay that Apex offers – even though development has LARGELY shifted focus onto the Battle Royale part of Fortnite since its release, they still built BR from the ground up out of the adventure-survival-building game we know and love in Save the World. The Battle Royale crowd at large (outside of Fortnite) wants tight competition, competitive matches, and skill-rewarding gameplay. Fortnite’s Battle Royale had the advantage of its constant stream of content from Epic, popularity due to the culture behind its emotes, and the charm of its unique building mechanics. Fortnite’s Battle Royale is NOT known for tight gunplay however, nor is it known for being particularly viable as a competitive game. (Fight me on that, I’ll stand by it.) I’ll cite the Twitch streamers / viewers numerical amounts in the past two-three weeks as a point in case to say what I’m trying to say: the crowd that was playing Fortnite for Battle Royale, was largely bandwagoners. They wanted the hot Battle Royale product of the minute (or 18 months) and not specifically the Fortnite brand. They’ve since moved onto the next hot item, which is now Apex Legends. What Epic is left to do with the Fortnite brand, is why we as StW players stand to benefit from this.
Fortnite has had a lot of resources dumped into its development, and Epic is still heavily invested in it – without a doubt. They have proven though, that they’re capable of pivoting the focus of Fortnite from one thing to another to cater to the best market. If Battle Royale is no longer the best market for Fortnite, what’s left is StW, and whaddya know, we actually have big things left to receive in the near future. Big things not just as in the Hero Rework, but going Free to Play. When BR went free to play, from its inception – it had the huge draw of being a free product that was improved with speed and scope relative to its playerbase growth. The more people rapidly flocked to Battle Royale, the more rapidly Epic scrambled to improve it as a product / service, so they could continue to cultivate a consumer base with it, and retain those players to profit off of them. WHEN StW goes free to play, it’s already guaranteed a surge of new players, because those who knew Fortnite from Battle Royale, will try out the game they already own but didn’t want to pay to play before.
So when StW becomes a free product, which we already know it will be – it will receive a surge in playerbase. A surge that we can expect will prompt a parallel surge in development invested into it from Epic. It’s as simple as once the profits for StW increase, the investment in it will too; and hence – development. That is when I believe we’ll see things like the locker, ACTUAL functioning performance on all platforms, Twine Storyline, entire resource / economy overhauls, and other macro-level changes come around. It could be seen as sad that that’s what it may take for this game to get the attention we all feel it deserves, but if that is what it takes – I’m willing to wait. The only unfortunate part, is that in the meantime… we’re stuck with the back-burner product we have now. StW as a buggy mess, sitting here at the end of an event – information starved for a hero rework that has entirely too many hopes and dreams of players pinned on it. But hey, the future could be bright. Let’s just hope StW becomes the favorite child after the younger sibling grows out of the baby-hogging-the-attnetion-of-the-parents phase.
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