When it comes to gaming trends, Epic Games’ Fortnite is nothing short of a pop-culture phenomenon. Ever since the game incorporated its Battle Royale mode, Fortnite has amassed millions of players and acquired several characters from different licensed franchises.
Despite Fortnite‘s wide popularity, what many players might not know is the behind-the-scenes story of the game’s making as well as its present-day impact on society in general. From becoming Netflix’s major competitor to starting an entire World Cup of its own, there’s a lot more to Fortnite than skins and brand collaborations.
Fortnite’s Head Honcho Also Created The Unreal Engine
Fortnite doesn’t have only a single creator, but Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney is largely attributed as one of the bigwigs behind the game. This is because Sweeney is also credited as the creator of the Unreal Engine gaming development platform.
First used for the 1998 first-person shooter Unreal, the engine’s various versions have powered games like PUBG: Battlegrounds, Valorant, the Batman: Arkham games series, and Epic’s own titles such as Gears of War and Fortnite.
Netflix Finds Fortnite To Be A Bigger Threat Than HBO
Streaming giant Netflix faces competition from streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. But the American company has found a new rival in Fortnite as Netflix executives believe that Fortnite is stealing their customers’ screentime.
As reported by The Washington Post, Netflix stated in a shareholder letter, “We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO . . . There are thousands of competitors in this highly-fragmented market vying to entertain consumers.”
First Announced In 2011
Even though Fortnite was released in 2017, Epic Games made its first announcement of the game way back in 2011. At the SpikeTV Game Awards, the company described its upcoming release as a world where players can explore, scavenge, and ultimately survive.
In fact, as Fortnite‘s Chief Creative Officer Donald Mustard revealed in an interview with Ars Technica, the 2011 announcement came just “three weeks after we came up with the idea before we even made the game,”. No wonder it took years of delays to finally be available for all.
Several Voice Actors Have Been Anime Dubbing Artists
Fortnite‘s voice cast includes several recognizable English-speaking anime voice actors. For starters, John “Jonesy” Jones actor Troy Baker has been involved in animes such as Bleach, One Piece, Naruto, and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.
Then there’s Matthew Mercer, who voices Fortnite‘s Mid and Syd who is otherwise known for voicing the Attack on Titan character Levi Ackerman. Dennis Jr voice actor Ray Chase is another popular anime actor, voicing Bruno Bucciarati in the dub of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Tengen Uzui in Deomslayer.
It Was Supposed To Be A Horror Game
While Fortnite might seem like a vibrant game suited for younger players, it was initially supposed to reflect a darker and grittier tone. As Fortnite art director Pete Ellis described the game to PCGamesN, the makers had aimed to craft a “terrifying, over-the-top, and scary experience”.
In the end, Fortnite‘s art team had to give in to the family-friendly gameplay. But that doesn’t mean that the remnants of the horror style didn’t prop up. The Husk Monsters might not emulate the feel of video games revolving around zombies but they are the last connection that Fortnite has to the terrifying experience that Ellis had originally envisioned.
Fortnite’s Chief Creative Officer Cameos In The Matrix Resurrections
The Matrix Resurrections is filled with hidden details, including a Fortnite cameo. The movie starts off with protagonist Neo working as a video game designer. When the truth about his existence starts making sense, chaos ensues in his office. As the naive Neo enquires about what is happening, a bespectacled man jokingly remarks that maybe a fourteen-year-old is pissed about the latest update.
Fortnite fans would instantly recognize the man as Fortnite‘s Chief Creative Officer Donald Mustard. The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo is an interesting nod given how Epic Games released The Matrix Awakens on Unreal Engine 5 in the same year as the movie.
There Are Fortnite “Coaches” For Hire
Parents are often concerned about children playing video games. But there are also parents who feel their kids are lagging behind if their gaming skills aren’t up to the mark as their peers.
This has been the case with youngsters addicted to Fortnite as parents in America are sending them off to “Fornite coaches” to improve their winning chances! According to The Wall Street Journal, the price of this coaching can range from $25 to $35 per hour.
PUBG Developer Sued Fortnite But Later Dropped The Lawsuit
Battles royale were popular in movies, books, and games even before the likes of PUBG and Fortnite. But when Fortnite introduced its Battle Royale mode, PUBG developer Blue Hole attempted to sue Epic Games for intellectual property theft. While there are indeed similarities between the two games, it is difficult to ascertain if anything was actually “copied” as many other games have experimented with the battle royale tropes.
As reported by Bloomberg in 2018, PUBG eventually gave up the suit on the grounds of unspecified reasons. The allegations on Epic Games could anyway be difficult to prove as Fortnite has not directly copied any of PUBG‘s content.
A British School Banned The Fortnite Dance
The most popular celebratory dance in Fortnite is arguably the viral “floss.” Considering the global impact of Fortnite, it is not surprising to find passionate players flossing even outside the game.
However, as The Daily Telegraph reported, a primary school in Devon, England, banned flossing for all students. The reasoning behind this was that it could intimidate other children and that games like Fortnite end up celebrating violence over others with a dance like the floss. Regardless of this one ban, the floss has still gained massive popularity with appearances in the video game Heroes of the Storm and the movies Wreck-It Ralph 2, Shazam, Free Guy, and so on.
A Fortnite World Cup Started From 2019
Esports competitions are gaining as much popularity as physical sporting events. One major contender, in this case, is the Fortnite World Cup that was inaugurated in 2019, witnessing over 2 million viewers on the final’s live stream session. 16-year-old Kyle Giersdorf (“Bugha”) emerged as the winner, winning the $3 million grand prize. Variety reported that this is the largest cash payout for a solo esports champ.
Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 pandemic looming large in 2020, the World Cup had to be canceled for the next two years. Regardless, the future editions of Fortnite World Cups might prove to be a major gamechanger in the world of esports.
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