The Fortnite craze as battle royale dominates

Jaden Gil, Staff Reporter

Games like Fortnite, Apex Legends and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have taken over the gaming industry in recent years. The one aspect that all of these games have in common is that they fall under the battle royale genre, where players land on a map and fight until one person or team is left. Each of these games has its own unique “twist,” such as Fortnite’s building feature or Apex Legends’ character selection. While these games may be fun, are they worth all of the hype that’s around them?

If one looks through the battle royale genre, he or she will find hundreds and hundreds of games that are trying to cash in on the genre. There’s no shortage of titles to play if a person wants to get into these games. Even games like Red Dead Redemption 2, which is mainly a story-based game, added a battle royale mode in hopes of bringing in more players.

But the biggest battle royale game is easily Epic Games’ Fortnite. Fortnite Battle Royale was released on July 25, 2017, and its cartoonish style and how easy it is to pick up makes the genre accessible to older and younger players.

While these games can be fun, the amount of games in this genre is overwhelming and seems kind of redundant.

“You’re getting the same amount of gameplay and action as all the other battle royale games,” Jayson Chiero-Osborne, sophomore, said. “It’s just a continuous cycle of the same idea.”

This definitely makes sense, as there seems to be an endless amount of battle royale games in stores, and many of them seem to copy off of each other. It’s very rare to see a game come up with a new idea in this genre, and, so, they all seem to follow a formula.

But while some people don’t seem to like the battle royale genre, others continue to play and enjoy them.

“I think they’re fun,” Guadalupe Rodriguez, sophomore, said. “I like games like Apex because of the teamwork aspect in them.”

People seem split on whether the battle royale genre should keep growing, and yet, it is. If one goes onto Steam, an online video game store, and look up battle royale, 443 search results come up. That’s not including mobile or console stores.

While many of these games are free-to-play, meaning one can download and play the game for free, in order for the developers to make money, they add microtransactions, in-game purchases, into their games. If done correctly, this can lead to the developers making more money than if they had made the game cost a set price at launch.

In a Dec. 27, 2018, Forbes article, “‘Fortnite’ Creator Epic Games Reportedly Earned $3 Billion in Profits in 2018,” by Erik Kain, it shows that Epic Games was able to make a crazy amount of money through their microtransactions in Fortnite.

In Fortnite, a player can buy characters, dance emotes and other cosmetic items, which allow a player to look more unique from other players.

The purchases in the games aren’t cheap either.  A character in the game, for example, can cost up to $20.

It seems obvious that $20 is way too much to charge people for a costume in a video game, but Epic Games and other developers seem to prey on kids in these games by adding a bunch of attractive microtransactions throughout their games.

Three out of the four students interviewed for this article said they had spent money within the games.

Another battle royale game, Apex Legends, uses loot boxes as well as a cosmetic shop in its game. Once buying a loot box, a player can open it and get a randomized set of items like costumes or dances. The problem with loot boxes is that they’re similar to gambling. It doesn’t seem right to allow kids to gamble their money away in hopes of getting a costume for their character.

It’s clear that the battle royale genre has way too many games and seems a bit played out, but that doesn’t mean one should write off the whole genre. I definitely think that less battle royale games should be made and less microtransactions added, but there are still some good games to play in the genre that are worth one’s time.