It’s been nearly five years since Fortnite entered the world, and what followed changed the gaming landscape as we know it.
Epic Games announced the free-to-play Battle Royale mode in 2017 and the rest is history.
Within a few short few months, Fortnite had amassed more than 20 million players.
Today, 400 million people have played the game, with more than 80 million active players.
So, what is Fortnite?
First and foremost, Fornite is an online video game — one of the biggest video games in the world. There are a few different game modes but the main event is its Battle Royale mode, which sees 100 players fight it out on an open-world island.
Players must jump from a flying “Battle Bus”, land on the island, find resources and weapons, and avoid the deadly storm which slowly closes in on an undisclosed area of the map.
Eventually, all remaining players are forced into close combat where there can only be one winner — that is if you’re playing Solos.
There are other game modes that include team matches, creative custom game modes and maps, and a campaign that launched alongside the game named Save the World — which is essentially a zombie survival game.
How do you play Fortnite?
Fortnite can be downloaded and played entirely free, yet the company behind the game is one of the most profitable studios to ever exist.
In 2020, Epic Games reported revenue of $7.3 billion.
This is due to a couple of reasons. One is Fornite‘s Battle Pass system where players subscribe for a monthly fee and gain access to the Battle Pass exclusive items for that season.
The other is Fortnite‘s in-game warehouse filled with virtual costumes, aka skins, to give the player their own creative flair. The average skin costs about 1800 V-Bucks, Fortnite‘s own in-game currency — yep, they’ve got their own money.
V-Bucks can be purchased in the real world from almost anywhere — from gaming retailers to the local supermarket.
READ MORE: How Australia’s top female streamer turned gaming into a full-time career
Just how big is Fortnite?
It’s clearly much more than just a video game, Fortnite has seen gamers and content creators launch global careers.
A number of Aussie Fortnite streamers have even made it into the game itself, like Melbourne’s own Kathleen Belsten, better known as “Loserfruit”.
Fortnite tournaments are regularly hosted around the world, some offering huge prize money for the best players.
In 2019, the first ever Fortnite World Cup offered one of the largest prize pools in esports history, an incredible $US30.4 million ($44 million).
The top solo player, Kyle Giersdorf, aka “Bugha”, took home a whopping $3 million ($.3 million).
Fortnite‘s most recent collaboration has brought the hugely popular anime Dragon Ball to the table, another franchise still going strong more than 30 years after it aired.
Players can now charge up their powers, just like Goku and Vegeta, find the dragon balls, and fly around on the nimbus cloud — it’s truly special.
The crossovers in Fortnite are something we’ve never seen in a game on this scale.
Players can be dressed as Spider-Man, lightsaber in hand, flying around shooting Kamehameha blasts at Indiana Jones and LeBron James — the entertainment value is on another level.
How old are the people playing?
While to the general populous, Fortnite is considered a game for kids, player data says otherwise.
Nearly 63 per cent of Fortnite gamers are aged between 18 and 24, with 22.5 per cent aged between 25 and 34.
It’s a game that can be played on practically any device, from mobile phones to PlayStation, Xbox, PC and Nintendo Switch (anything with browser support should do the trick).
Have there been any controversies?
Being one of the world’s most popular online video games doesn’t mean they’re immune to controversy.
There was a period of time around 2018 and 2019 when Fortnite was copping a bad wrap over its reported addictive nature, replacing the likes of classic MMORPG World of Warcraft.
Studies have since shown that video game addiction, while it does exist, only affects the smallest percentage of gamers.
In 2020 Apple removed Fortnite from its app store, kicking players off the platform.
Apple claimed Epic Games was trying to dodge their fee when it comes to in-game transactions.
Epic Games then took legal action against the tech giants to remove the ban without success.
While Fortnite is still absent from the Apple app store, Xbox’s latest cloud update means players can jump into Fortnite from any device.
READ MORE: Classic card game teams up with Fortnite
How has Fortnite changed?
The Fortnite map layout has changed dramatically over the years, with the entire island being decimated in a reverse big bang-like event at the end of Season Two.
We’ve had alien invasions, summer beach parties, superhero takeovers as well as visitors from a galaxy far far away.
Fortnite is currently in Season 3 of Chapter 3, and a new season is set to launch in mid-September. As to what the future will hold, we’ll have to wait and see.