Home Gaming What Does the Future Hold for Fortnite Battle Royale as We Approach its 4-Year Anniversary?

What Does the Future Hold for Fortnite Battle Royale as We Approach its 4-Year Anniversary?

by Jason Smith

What Does the Future Hold for Fortnite Battle Royale as We Approach its 4-Year Anniversary?

Fortnite Battle Royale will celebrate four years since its release on 26 September 2021, with it all-but-guaranteed to still boast millions of concurrent players by this point. Although the game didn’t smash its way into the mainstream – both for gaming and general news – until 2018, its early efforts to outdo the model put forth by PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds set it up for success.

Now, Fortnite has been heralded as such a success that it’s used as a colloquial term for a successful, money-harvesting game, even for the show writer of Dead Pixels in this geektown.co.uk interview. However, even the most successful media products – especially in gaming – have an end date. So, what does the future hold for Fortnite Battle Royale, and is its end on the horizon?

Fornite’s Still a Goliath of the Gaming World

Fortnite continues to epitomise the live service format of gaming that so many major publishers have attempted to pivot their full-priced games into. The difference for the Epic Games product, however, is that it’s free-to-play and accessible across all platforms in its full form. Embracing the idea of continual updates for free, with an in-game store funding the development, Fortnite continues to add new events and features.

In June 2021, Fortnite commenced its Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 7 run, which is expected to run for three months before Season 8 rolls in for another set of events, rewards, and objectives. However, being a rather well-balanced game that doesn’t rely on a pay-to-win economy, the publisher has also been able to create a vast competitive scene that has muscled into the eSports industry.

Epic Games regularly host major and minor tournaments for Fortnite, with different cups and prize pools available for any players who rank high enough to compete. The main event of each year is the Fortnite World Cup Finals, with the 2019 edition for the Solo and Duo event granting over US$15 million in prize money. The cash pumped into the events has forced Fortnite into the eSports picture, with people tuning in to make worldwide stars of the best players.

The level of competition, inherent entertainment of the shooter-builder title, and the money on the line have given rise to a popular Fortnite betting scene. Set to become one of the biggest betting markets globally, from Europe to Asia, engaged players who know what it takes to win are making the most of the odds. As detailed by asiabet.org, you can spot a good Fortnite player by looking to those who prioritise survival, build quick and clever structures, and opt for key late-game weapons, such as sniper rifles.

With millions of engaged players, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many understand the intricacies of the competitions well enough to engage in the betting markets. For an idea of this potential audience scope, twitchtracker.com reports the game as having over 100,000 average daily viewers across a week-long sample in late June. Furthermore, businessofapps.com records some 80.4 million monthly active players for the game through 2020 – its highest annual average.

A Lot yet to Come from Fortnite Battle Royale

First of all, it’s a near certainty that a Fortnite Battle Royale 2 isn’t in the plans for the near future. Due to the way in which the game has found success through accessibility, regular new events, and new virtual content, Epic Games doesn’t have a reason to invest in the development of a sequel. This could change, however, if the player count drops significantly to cut revenue streams and make the continued work unviable.

One key aspect that players can continue to expect is a commitment to the competitive scene. Having an accessible professional tier to the game will always encourage people to keep coming back to aspire to hit the upper echelons. In 2021, the eSports arm of Fortnite will receive a $3 million bump on its 2020 prize pool, up to $20 million per theverge.com, reaffirming it as a serious segment of the $1.1 billion eSports industry.

In-game, players continue to be kept on their toes. Realising the broad appeal and simplistic nature of the game, Fortnite developers have been more than happy to experiment with new forms of content and engagement. The eSports competitions represent the epitome of this among gamers, but they’ve also hosted live concerts in-game and have even pivoted the throw-away nature of the game to now include a more story-driven narrative.

Earlier this year, Epic Games’ chief creative officer, Donald Mustard, confirmed that the new focus on storytelling would become far less subtle in the months to come. Doing this will, at the very least, invite players who have left to come back regularly to see how the story is evolving. Another element that could greatly increase engagement levels and solidify the community further is the introduction of mod tools and allowing as many as 50 players into creative mode.

Expect the future of Fortnite to include a heavier leaning towards the competitive scene, more seemingly random content inclusions, and lots more storytelling.

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