4th May, 2018
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve probably heard of the gaming sensation which is Fortnite. This new game is quickly becoming one of the most played games in the world with millions of gamers logging on every single day.
With so many similarities to League of Legends, we ask the question: Is Fortnite the new League of Legends?
Here’s what we think.
The rise of Fortnite is a fascinating story and has pulled off an incredible feat. Originally released as a stand-alone sandbox survival game, the developers quickly changed direction at the last second and quickly turned it into a success. The developers of the game Epic Games had already worked on some big projects in the past including Paragon a 3rd person MOBA similar to the likes of Smite and League of Legends. However, Epic Games wanted to try something new and instead launched a new game focusing on co-op survival, similar to games such as Left 4 Dead.
In 2015 the closed beta of Fortnite launched with around 50,000 people taking part. Around the same time, Epic Games were busy working hard on Paragon and piled more of their resources into the development of that instead of Fortnite. Although the development was considerably slowed down by this, the team still managed to make progress and released an early access version in 2017.
Using Twitch.tv as their main marketing tool, the popularity of Fortnite really started to take off as players played the PvE co-op version. Around this time, the developers had a brilliant idea. Hot off the success of Player Unknowns Battlegrounds, the developers decided to introduce their own Battle Royale version of the game.
Launched in September 2017, the game mode received considerable attention at the start of 2018 and their numbers quickly grew. To put things into perspective, Fortnite had 83.3 million hours of viewership in February 2018 on Twitch and YouTube gaming. That's a lot of hours!
Currently, as of May 2018, Fortnite is the most played battle royale game out there, even beating PUBG in players and viewing figures. Of course, this isn’t the first time there has been a huge cult following of a video game. League of Legends did it nearly 10 years ago and continued to be one of the most popular games out there. So just how similar is Fortnite to League of Legends?
Believe it or not, Fortnite is similar to League of Legends in a few different ways. From their business model to growth and marketing, both games have very close similarities. With League of Legends already being a huge success have Epic Games learned a thing or two from their studying of LoL?
The first similarity between the two is that they both use a free to play business model. League of Legends started off as a paid game but eventually, they moved to a free to play model which is supported by selling in-game cosmetic items. Just like LoL, Fortnite also started with a paid version for their PvE content (and still do!). However, the battle royale version is entirely free and has helped fuel the growth of Fortnite. Compared to other battle royale games such as PUBG, Fortnite is one of the only games that offer a freemium model.
Another similarity between the two games is that they have both used Twitch to grow their player base considerably. By taking advantage of popular online streaming platforms, both games have managed to win over millions of players.
With the huge success of the battle royale genre, could League of Legends also be looking to cash in on its success? Is there a League of Legends battle royale mode in the works?
It’s highly unlikely Riot are working on developing their own battle royale mode just due to the amount of time and effort that would be required. Instead, the could be investing those hours into making new skins and champions which players would actually enjoy. Not to mention that if Riot really wanted to make a battle royale mode, they’d most likely have to make an entirely new game.
The main problem is that the current map isn’t really big enough to handle a lot of players yet alone fly something over the top for champions to parachute out. Not only would the map have to be considerably bigger, but it would also need to require loot locations through the map. All this planning and designing would take up a lot of time and stop Riot from completing their futures goals. It’s hardly unlikely that riot would change the direction of LoL after they have spent the last few years working hard on its success.
What do you think about Fortnite and the new battle royale genre? Will it ever become as popular as League of Legends and other MOBAS? Let us know in the comments below!