Fortnite: Battle Royale may not be the first game strictly dedicated to the one-death, hundred-man match style of Battle Royale (that honor goes to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds), but there’s no denying that it’s one of the best. As Fortnite’s icy Season 7 begins with the game seeing over 200 million players worldwide, Fortnite has become a sensation. But, why has Fortnite succeeded while so many other Battle Royale titles can only dream to bring in as many players? This is largely in part to Fortnite’s free-to-play model and just as importantly, the ability to not take itself seriously.
Everything Fortnite does, from its emotes to its updates, helps enhance the silliness of the game itself and increase its longevity. After all, the game is a massive party, and that party begins on the “Party Bus,” a large bus transporting up to a hundred players high above the map, which slightly changes with each season. Epic Games could have taken the easy route and gone with a military deployment ship along with a military theme, but that’s not the style they were going for.
Each update adds something that makes the game a little more silly. There are now balloons that can be inflated to enhance the player’s jump height, sometimes suspending them into the air for longer. Parachutes can be activated at any lethal height to encourage more risky plays. And lastly, until they were removed in the 7.0 update, players could use “shadow stones” to turn into “shadow form” to move across the map almost undetected. But, this is more than just random instances of adding silliness to the game, it’s the willingness to experiment with new ideas.
Season 7 of Fortnite adds an airplane that seats four passengers. This is something that the game has never had, and it’s sure to bring chaos. And given the nature of the game, if it doesn’t work out competitively, they can easily remove it like they’ve done with the shadow stones and Port-a-forts. The ever-changing features of the game and the willing to experiment with new ideas, no matter how silly they may be, is why we’ll still be playing Fortnite years from now.