Fortnite has become one of the most popular online games around, even surpassing Minecraft last year. But what is the next Fortnite game going to be – and what can we expect?
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Predicting which video games will be the ones that capture the attention of gamers is difficult. There are so many genres and platforms for games to live on that singling out which ones specifically will be hits, can seem impossible.
The last thing a gamer, or someone purchasing games for others, wants to do is bet on a game that ends up underperforming. Just ask any Fallout fan how things are going now that Fallout 76 has been launched. That is a classic example of when a game ends up being all hype, and no substance.
The best thing we can do, is look at what Fortnite itself has done right, and try to find games that have adapted or incorporated those features into their gameplay in order to discover what games have the potential to get that big.
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Why Is the Fortnite Game so Successful?
Here are some reasons Fortnite has become so wildly popular:
#1. Free to Play
Want more people to play your game? Don’t charge for it. Many people who are unfamiliar with Fortnite are surprised to learn that it’s actually free. They make all their money based on what’s known as “micro transactions”. These are purchases players can make within the game to change their players appearance or gain “mounts” they can ride around the game in.
Where Fortnite gets it right is that none of the micro transactions change the core mechanics of the game or increase an individual player’s power. Players are willing to tolerate micro transactions on a few conditions.
A player should not be able to “pay to win”. Paying for power in a game is greatly frowned upon among gamers. Players should never be required to make micro transactions. They should be something players can choose to do, but not punished for avoiding.
Micro transactions are also much more tolerable when the price of the game is low. Fortnite does all three of these things very well. If we are looking at what will be the next Fortnite game, it will follow all these micro transaction rules.
Best example: Path of Exile is an action role-playing game (ARPG) that follows in the footsteps of Diablo and Torchlight. The game has constantly grown in popularity over the years. The game is a joy to play, easy to learn and difficult to master.
Best of all, it’s free to play. The game supports itself through micro transactions. As we mentioned above however, all micro transactions grant cosmetic changes or storage space for in-game items, not in-game power.
#2. Colourful and Playful
Fortnite does not take itself too seriously. Its art, style and colour schemes are bright, light and fun. Games looking for mass appeal (beyond regular gamers) cannot burden themselves with strict realism.
These games often adopt a darker and more toned down aesthetic. While this can appeal to more seasoned gamers, casual players look for something more inviting. It also allows for younger players (approx 8-12 years) to get involved in the fun. This is a huge demographic that goes largely untapped by most triple A games.
The next Fortnite game will adopt a similar art style. It will have more of a “cartoony” aesthetic with a bright and vibrant colour pallet. This will appeal to casual and younger gamers alike, while not discouraging more experienced gamers from trying it out.
Best example: Borderlands 2 is an older game that set itself apart from other shooters through its gorgeous, comic book-style graphics. It is proof positive that games are not required to have the “best” graphics in order to succeed, they just need visually appealing graphics.
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Fortnite is not the first game to enter into the “Battle Royale” genre, but it’s without question the most popular. Many are also surprised to learn that the Battle Royale was not the originally intended format. With 100 players jumping into battle at once, it is a lot more fun when you are playing with friends.
Fortnite also supports cross play. This means regardless of the platform you play on, you can still connect with friends. This breaks down a huge barrier to entry for the game. If two friends are playing on an Xbox and they have another friend who is on a Playstation, they can still connect and play together.
Making a game social allows it to spread as fast as possible. The more who play and talk about the game, the more people feel like they have to try it. Single player games can become popular but the next Fortnite game will almost certainly be one that incorporates multiplayer into its design.
Best example: Though their numbers have been declining, there are still 1.7 million active subscribers to World of Warcraft. At its peak, the game boasted over 10 million subscribers. For a game that launched over 14 years ago, the fact that close to 2 million people still pay the $15-a-month subscription fee is astounding, making WoW the most social game ever.
#4. Unique and Blended Gameplay
Fortnite is not just another shooter. It’s a Battle Royale game of course. 100 players enter the arena, which shrinks over time, but there is only one winner. The “violence” is very cartoonish so as to not upset younger players. But it’s not all about killing other players.
There is resource gathering and building as well. They hide loot boxes and other treasures throughout the maps to encourage explorations as well. Much like Minecraft, the last game that swept through our culture like Fortnite, players can collect resources and building defences for the coming battles they need to fight to survive.
The next Fortnite game will not have a niche mechanic or specific game play. It will broaden the scope of what’s expected in a game and will meld different popular aspects from many games. Whether it is shooting, multiplayer, base building or others – the next Fortnite game will be a combination of many of these aspects of play and blend them to appeal to all kinds of gamers.
Other Battle Royale games: While they can’t boast the extensive resource gathering and base building mechanics like Fortnite, other games like Playerunknown’s Battle Ground, Dying Light: Bad Blood, or Realm Royale could be worth checking out.
No one foresaw the overwhelming popularity of Fortnite and, as such, it would be impossible to say with certainty which specific game will replace it. We can however predict that the next massively popular game will follow the rules set in place. It will be multiplayer, free to play and appeal to a mass audience of both young and old, casual and experienced gamers.
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Is your tween or teen playing another online game that could become the next Fortnite game? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!