Epic removing a building in Fortnite Battle Royale Chapter 3

Hello and welcome to Protocol Entertainment, your business guide to the gaming and media industries. This week, we’re talking about the logic behind Fortnite’s surprising new update, the series of new surveys into indie studio work cultures, and the return of the Game Developers Conference. Check back this week for more on-the-ground coverage from GDC 2022.

Fortnite’s fearless experimentation

Epic Games did the unthinkable with its biggest and most lucrative product: it removed forts from Fortnite. The Battle Royale game’s latest update, announced on Sunday, featured a narrative twist that, for now, disables the ability to build structures in the game’s main non-competitive modes.

It’s a bold move and one of the most drastic updates to a game that has built its reputation on pulling off unprecedented stunts and in-game upheavals. It’s also more proof that the The creators of Fortnite, which is now almost 5 years old, are still willing to take chances with their biggest money maker in ways other developers would never dare.

Fortnite’s building helped it stand out. Fortnite wasn’t the first major battle royale game; that title goes to Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, from which Epic borrowed the concept of 100-player lobbies and a shrinking circle. But what made Fortnite rise to fame so quickly was a combination of its (free) price, cartoonish aesthetic, and Minecraft-style building.

  • Building in Fortnite often determines the pace and outcome of battles, as it allows players to create instant cover, higher ground, and other forms of strategic advantage.
  • Since the launch of Fortnite, the intricacies of building have become extremely complex and have helped to set the game’s particularly high skill ceiling. Having good reflexes and working as a team was not enough. To succeed in Fortnite, you had to learn how to build complex structures and maneuver around them simultaneously.
  • These unique mechanics have helped Fortnite stand apart from PUBG and become a global sensation. It also attracted interest from professional gamers, which helped make it a Twitch sensation and a viable esport.

Over time, construction has become an obstacle for Fortnite. It was arguably the most popular game on the planet in 2018 and 2019, generating a staggering $9 billion in those two years alone. But interest in the game began to wane in its third year, and construction plays a vital role in that decline.

  • Epic’s frantic update cycle has kept the game fresh and interesting with the addition of countless new weapons, vehicles, items, and map changes. But the construction has remained consistent throughout with very few changes.
  • Because building is so important to winning fights and achieving victory, it has become harder for casual players to compete over time. If you stop playing Fortnite for months or even weeks, it can take hours and hours of practice to hone your building skills.
  • This had the effect of making Fortnite less accessible over time for new or old players. Epic tried to solve this problem by using skill-based matchmaking and bots, as well as in-game items designed to counter building. But construction still reigns supreme.

Removing the building could help rekindle the flame. Fortnite is still immensely popular and ranks among the biggest games in terms of industry revenue. But there are legions of gamers who have ditched it for competitors like Call of Duty: Warzone and Apex Legends.

  • Free games like Fortnite can be double-edged swords. They cost nothing to download and play, but consumers may also feel less invested and more easily swayed by new games or those that their friends play more regularly.
  • This approach is a great marketing tactic, and it invites players who may not have played Fortnite in months or even years to get back into the game without the pressure of having to use its gameplay mechanic. the most complicated and overwhelming.
  • Clearing buildings, which matters most to competitive players, may just be the start. It’s not hard to imagine a consumer version of Fortnite, in line with Epic’s metaverse ambitions, that looks and plays much more like the game’s social spaces, user-generated mini-games, and concerts.

Epic can resurrect the build in time with a narrative thread that leads players to resist in-game invaders. until April 3 to humanitarian aid in Ukraine.)

But Epic’s willingness to redesign the fundamental pillars of its game, or even remove them temporarily, is an encouraging sign for the future of Fortnite. Epic wants Fortnite to be more malleable in the future, if it is to compete more directly with other metaverse platforms. And to build a virtual world that’s more accessible, and just plain more fun for a much wider segment of people, it’s paramount to find ways to bring players back, even if it means sacrificing your namesake in the process.

-Nick Statt

Understood

“It’s hard to come up with names, especially since ‘A Song of Ice & Fire’ uses so many of them, and I like to give family members and loved ones names that have something in common…but really , why should I do it? hide my name in game? my name is right there to the game, as one of the creators. Hey, Elden Ring is pretty exciting, no need to make stuff up. – George RR Martin, who co-created the Elden Ring narrative as co-writer alongside game director Hidetaka Miyazaki, responded on his personal blog to fan theories that he hid his initials from through the game’s many named characters and enemies.

“This wave of metaverse hype is so similar to 2008. Everything is repeating itself now – the same reports, the same assumptions, the same mistakes. During the hype of 2008, the technology was not ready for a mass market. Today it has become a mass phenomenon with Roblox and Fortnite and other platforms I think there are over half a billion people who are now active users on a metaverse platform in a broad sense. These are the things that I imagined. – Journalist Wagner James Au, who has been chronicling Second Life since 2003, spoke with The Atlantic’s Charlie Warzel about metaverse hype and building a virtual world in a rather insightful interview last week.

A MESSAGE FROM PLURALSIGHT

Today’s employment landscape is challenging for organizations looking to recruit and retain top technology talent. Recent labor trends, many of which are fueling the Great Resignation, have shown leaders across industries that their employees are looking for more.

Learn more

In other news

PlayStation recovers Haven. Sony is acquiring Haven Studios from Jade Raymond, the company the Ubisoft veteran founded after leaving Google Stadia. Haven is already working on a PlayStation-exclusive multiplayer game.

A new Witcher in preparation. CD Projekt Red announced yesterday that it is in the early stages of development on a new Witcher game, although this time the studio is using Epic’s Unreal Engine 5 instead of its own in-house development platform.

Indies can also be toxic. An in-depth video report from YouTube channel People Make Games exposed abuses and dysfunctional work cultures at three top indie studios, inspiring a viral Twitter thread from games writer Leigh Alexander about Funomena founder Robin Hunicke.

Bullying and harassment at Moon Studios. Ori series creator Moon Studios was the subject of a damning report by VentureBeat last week highlighting its oppressive work culture and the bullying, sexism and harassment of its two founders.

Ubisoft wants to build “unlimited” worlds with the cloud. The publisher last week announced a new technology initiative called Scalar designed to help its game creators use cloud computing to develop and maintain future games.

Apple stops selling movies through its Apple TV app on Android. Now look who doesn’t like paying platform fees…

Qualcomm launches the Snapdragon Metaverse Fund. The chipmaker wants to invest $100 million in related VR, AR, and AI projects to help build the metaverse.

Nielsen rejects $9 billion takeover bid. Nielsen executives argued that the takeover bid undervalued the company; investors soon sent Nielsen’s share price down 16%.

GDC is back, and it’s kinda weird

The gaming industry hasn’t had a major event in North America since the pandemic began, but that changed yesterday with the launch of the annual Game Developers Conference. Held in San Francisco for the first time since 2019, GDC 2022 is the city’s biggest event since the onset of COVID-19.

The lingering effects of the pandemic are visible. Unlike last week’s SXSW, which is being held in Texas, GDC attendees almost universally wear masks indoors around the Moscone Center complex. And due to San Francisco’s stricter event restrictions, attendees must be vaccinated without exception. Half of the panels I attended on Monday had speakers connecting via video conference.

It’s unclear whether this could drown out the networking element of the conference, which is arguably its greatest appeal. Developers from across the industry come to GDC not only to attend panels and give talks, but also to look for new jobs and start the kinds of celebratory conversations that could lead to a new game project or development. other business activities.

Yet the event already has a familiar and welcome positive energy. The industry has done a remarkable job of transitioning to a remote world, but events like GDC prove there’s still a healthy appetite for talking face-to-face, even if that means wearing a mask while you do it.

A MESSAGE FROM PLURALSIGHT

Tech organizations need to look internally to find the talent they seek by upskilling and reskilling their existing tech workforce. To make this vision a reality, organizations need to focus on being creators rather than consumers of talent.

Learn more

Thoughts, questions, advice? Send them to [email protected] Have a good day, see you Thursday.

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