Explaining the Popularity of ‘Fortnite: Battle Royale.’ For Starters, It’s Free!

  |  Topic: Entertainment, Gaming, Reviews
By Chris Jordan

During the past few months, “Fortnite: Battle Royale” has taken the world and people’s Snapchat stories by storm, turning the gaming world upside down with completely original game play (that is in no way stolen from “Player Unknown BattleGrounds”). “Fortnite: Battle Royale” is without a doubt the most popular game for many people right now. However, many people both inside and out of the gaming community are asking: Why is this game so popular? Well, buckle up, buttercup, because today you’re gonna learn why “Fortnite” has blown up in such a short amount of time.

Economically, this game can appeal to all players with its stellar price of $0 and availability on numerous platforms, including Xbox One, PS4, IOS and PC with Android on the way, reportedly later this year (basically everything but the Nintendo platforms). This is huge for the popularity of this game, as most modern video games cost $40-$70 at launch, meaning many gamers will either buy the game at launch and lose money or wait until the price goes down. Because this is a free game, people can download whenever they want so long as they have the storage for it (which most of us do, as it only is about 9-14GB). A smaller download size for the game could be a contributing factor, as it would almost never have to be deleted for storage. There is also a full version of this game that costs about $60 in which the player and friends face off against monsters and defend the world.

Another factor in the popularity of “Fortnite: Battle Royale” is how much people talk about it on social media platforms. Much of this social media coverage saves money the company may use for advertising and the budget can be used for improving elements of the game to keep it relevant. The game’s popularity even spread through the popular app Snapchat, where it’s become common practice among players to post their game victories.

Like with all things that become popular on the internet, there has been a cornucopia of memes that have spawned from the game’s player base, eventually making it to most meme accounts and even the Worldstar Hip-Hop Instagram page. The game’s popularity on social media has gotten many casual and more regular gamers curious enough to try it for themselves. The popularity surge has also gotten many YouTubers and streamers to play this game, which leads to YouTubers outside of the gaming community playing and means it gets even more popular.

The last main factor of the app’s popularity is the actual game play itself. “Fortnite: Battle Royale” drops 100 players into a set map where weapons, shields and other items are scattered throughout, leaving players to find them and fight it out. The main idea for battle royale types of games stems from the popularity of the “Hunger Games” franchise, with many of the same rules applying in “Fortnite.” With more shotguns and rocket launchers, a bow and arrow probably won’t cut it this time. Sorry, Katniss. However, a large part of the game’s mechanics involves collecting materials and using them to build structures, such as walls or forts, similar to the video game “Minecraft.” The game also has a mode in which players can team up with one to three other players to secure the victory as a team. Having a game mode with players teaming up has also been quite beneficial to the game’s success. This lead to many players joining because of their friends and continuing to play for the innovative game play and good multiplayer. Overall, the game play and the fan base have helped the game keep players coming back and away from their homework and jobs.

“Fortnite: Battle Royale” is an amazingly popular game with no clear end in sight, and the popularity is mostly due to the players. While most consumers are the reason all products stay afloat, the product-consumer relationship has barely ever been as good as it has been with “Fortnite.” So, whether you are a fan of this game you should get used to it, because “Fortnite” is at the top right now and looks like it is here to stay. The game is free, so if you are a curious gamer or just wondering what the hype is about, I recommend trying the game and seeing for yourself why “Fortnite: Battle Royale” is loved by so many.


Chris, 15, attends DeKalb School of the Arts.

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