Monday, May 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Fortnite: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

For those who don’t know, Fortnite is a video game in which around 100 players skydive from a plane onto an island. The goal is to be the ‘last man standing’. Players find weapons hidden throughout the island and are also able to collect materials and build structures – think Hunger Games meets Minecraft. There are many unique elements within the game, which is what makes it so popular. However, what those elements stand for changes as you go on. Sure, Fornite may be good to play but, it can also be bad and, sometimes, a little ugly.

Fortnite has been a huge success across the world. Many players, including myself, find it a light and easy game, meaning it is easy to just pick up the controller and start playing. The determination to obtain that all-famous screen with “#1 Victory Royale” written across the top – and then running into the storm or dancing to entertain any watching fans  – is undeniable.

Another huge benefit is that it is free! Game prices have skyrocketed with some games reaching £70/£80, so the fact that Fortnite is free means it is available to all, including those who don’t have large amounts of money lying around every time a new game comes out.

Now, there’s where the ‘good’ ends. The art style of the game is cartoon and brightly coloured. When you shoot someone, there is no blood or gore, the player just disappears and their loot remains for the killer to collect. From a parental point of view, the game sounds ideal for a young child wanting to play Call Of Duty or Battlefield as Fortnite appears to be a less violent and less realistic version. But this raises the question: is this just making violence appropriate for children?

Many adult gamers I have spoken to do not play Fortnite as it is considered a game for kids. This is an immediate reaction as everything is multicoloured which is associated with games aimed for a younger audience. Young children may not yet understand violence and the reality of it in the real world, so it could be dangerous to expose them to it in a light-hearted and colourful way.

And, here comes the ugly. The obviously ‘ugly’ element of this game is its competition with PUBG. Launched in March 2017, PUBG Corp sued Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, for copyright infringement. Whilst there are a lot of games that are fairly similar in style, there is often obvious differences. PUBG Corp’s game drops 100 players onto a map and each player battles until one player is left… sound familiar?

Battle Royale styles are becoming more and more popular and it is thought that this will appear in other well-known games. Regardless though, PUBG Corp were not happy to say the least. In June 2018 PUBG Corp pulled out of their lawsuit against Epic Games, without any public explanation.

So there you have it. Many still play the game, whilst others believe it has become boring and repetitive. Whatever your opinion is, Epic Games are still producing new seasons of the game, and clearly there is no sign of them stopping. •