Fortnite is the world’s biggest phenomenon right now. It’s on everything, it’s everywhere. It just had a virtual concert watched by over 10 million people. Someday, Fortnite won’t be the most popular thing in the world, but it’s been that way for an impressively long time right now and doesn’t really seem to be slowing down soon.
However, Fortnite started out as something far less ambitious. Heck, as it was originally released, it was a PvE zombie early access shooter you paid thirty dollars for. You can still pay for it as a “Founder’s Pack Bundle”, though at some point it is also supposed to be a free-to-play mode.
Fortnite as it initially was released was certainly a successful game, but not making any huge waves. Then came Fortnite Battle Royale, and something just clicked. The fact that it was free and can run on just about anything certainly helps. But it’s just not easy to explain the exact combination of things that led to this massive explosion in popularity to the point where nearly everyone else is trying to play catch-up and put their own spin on the genre.
Fortnite certainly didn’t start the Battle Royale genre. It isn’t even the game that initially made the genre popular; that can still be attributed to Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds ( aka PUBG). What Fortnite did manage to accomplish was bringing itself and the genre to a level of awareness that goes well beyond your average gamer to the point where publisher/developer Epic Games think they have enough clout to take on PC giant Steam, and they just might.