If you have so much as logged onto the internet this past year, you have at least heard of “Fortnite,” the battle royale craze that seems to be at the epicenter of today’s gaming. But is the most popular online game of the year truly revolutionary, or just a short-lived social media fad?
In his video titled “Fortnite is Finally Dying,” a YouTuber by the username of Ged argues that some of the possible upcoming changes to the core gameplay will cause Fortnite to “die.”
Since Ged uploaded this video, other YouTubers have responded with clickbait titles and thumbnails piggybacking on the viewer traffic that Ged had attracted. However, with over 6,000,000 views, Ged’s video appears to be the first one that is heavily watched and his argument is the most productively articulated.
Here, I will be summarizing just a few points in Ged’s argument that have to do with the changes to Fortnite’s gameplay and whether or not they will result in the fall of the game that has everyone talking.
1. Bloom should not be in the game.
“Bloom” is a mechanism that randomizes the location that your bullets hit — mostly in fully automatic weapons — thus leaving a major component of “Fortnite” gameplay to luck. Ged has been critical of bloom since the early days of “Fortnite”: “You might hit the shot, you might miss the shot. It’s completely determined by something completely out of your control.”
Although creator Epic Games does not currently appear to have plans to do so, the removal of the bloom function would greatly increase accuracy by allowing you to hit the thing that you are aiming at rather than leaving the precision of your shot up to a random number generator. Taking away bloom altogether would benefit “Fortnite,” making the game more dependent on skill instead of luck.
I agree with Ged on this one, and most gamers would, too. In a game where combat is a core feature, random chance is not something that you want involved.
However, I don’t see this as the kind of problem that is killing “Fortnite.” Like Ged says in his video, nobody seems to be talking about bloom. If it really was a function that was going to end the game, the mechanism probably would have done so sooner rather than nearly one year after the game’s release.
2. Building should not be touched.
The ability to build is what makes “Fortnite” stand out among its competitors in the battle royale genre. As Ged points out, building in the game used to be a sought after skill that separated the pro from the casual player. But now, everyone seems to be building. Even newbies know that you should always be utilizing the functionality of building, which is resulting in less building materials being dropped into the game.
It makes sense, really. If everyone is building, everyone is using more materials and leaving behind less after being eliminated. Fewer available materials means less of an opportunity to build and gain an advantage over your opponent during combat.
Ged argues that Epic should somehow include more materials within the game, but instead, the developers have nerfed that component, virtually cutting the amount of materials you get from llamas and floor loot in half. “They don’t want you to build. They don’t want you to utilize the only skill gap the game has to offer,” said Ged.
This is certainly a problem. Epic seems to be doing the opposite of what they should by restricting the amount of materials you can get for building. The premise behind this is to make the game more beginner friendly so that the casual gamers don’t become disheartened by being unable to build like the pros do, which sounds illogical.
It would make more sense if more materials were available for the beginner player to build with and actually improve their building skills instead of reducing the total amount of materials in the game.
3. Epic Games listens to their community too much.
According to Ged, Epic makes too many changes based on the “Fortnite” community’s feedback. This complaint seems kind of ironic, given that the purpose of the video is to promote conversation within the gaming community and to warn Epic about the game’s impending demise.
As it currently stands, the close range combat in “Fortnite” is structured around the ability to utilize a weapon such as the shotgun that does not depend on bloom, creating the need for more skill-based gameplay.
However, Ged says that about half of the community wants a bloom-based, submachine gun or assault rifle meta where essentially the luckiest person wins. I think he is at least partially right. Even though I don’t think that bloom is something that will kill the game altogether, it does seem to be something that some gamers like Ged deeply care about, and changing the gameplay to revolve totally around bloom will certainly cause some top tier gamers to quit playing.
Ged’s overarching argument is that Epic aims to make the gameplay in “Fortnite” revolve around the abilities of the casual player rather than the gamer who dedicates a lot of time to honing their skills, which will soon cause the game to die out.
I’m not so sure that the changes (or lack thereof) that Epic will make to the gameplay of “Fortnite” will cause the game to “die.” What I am sure of, is that if popular YouTubers and gamers such as Ged decide one day that “Fortnite” is dead, it will probably be so. Even though most of the game’s player base is comprised of casual gamers, many of those casual gamers watch videos from YouTubers and elite players such as Ged and Ninja.
If the popular players that heavily influence the gaming community insist that the game is not worth playing anymore, then why would anyone play it? If “Fortnite” should ever truly die, it will be at the hands — or rather, the assault rifles — of the elite gamers.