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Fortnite and Why It’s Hurting the Gaming Industry

An Unpopular Opinion Piece on the Most Popular Game Out There

Hello everyone! My name is David Enriquez and this is my first post on Vocal! I saw about this site and figured “hmmm... a way to get paid to write about anything, let’s do it!” Anyway, I want to and my dream is to start a podcast. I have gone over it with my friends and we just haven’t gotten around to it. So, hopefully that’s in the works, but right now I want to talk about something important to me. I have been a avid gamer since I can remember. I used to wake up every Friday morning so excited to play my Sega Genesis, PlayStation, and my PlayStation 2 to feed my undoubtable urges to kill, race, or beat any opponents in any game. From simple baseball games, to Jack and Daxter, and my discovery of Madden, which changed my life forever. What I’m saying is I’ve been around the block of gaming. Now, as I get older and make way for the days of the Xbox, I make a new discovery, one that would change the landscape of my gaming life and would, ultimately, make me want a career in the industry: I played Halo for the first time and it was something I hadn’t experienced ever before. It drove me to be the best because it was the hardest game out there at the time. And with Xbox Live, getting killed by some 30 year old living with his mom and dad didn’t sit right with me, even though I was not old enough to even comprehend the thought of competition. So as time passes the games get harder and harder, I go off to play college baseball at Huston-Tillotson University and sort of forget about gaming, until about one year ago, when this new game came out for free on Xbox One (or more known to me as the Xbone). Fortnite: Battle Royale came out and at first it seemed to me it was one of those odd free-to-play games that nobody would play because, let’s be honest, all the free to play games are totally unbearable—so unbearable that I didn’t even take the time to mention any of them. So I paid it no attention and continued on my quest to be noticed by esports teams for Halo 5... then I noticed a trend change. Everyone is talking about this game. EVERYONE. Celebrities, sports athletes, actors, YouTubers, and every normal Joe walking the street is talking about this game. So I caved and downloaded it and played it. At first I was skeptical. The kid-like graphics and silly art style of the game clearly meant this game was going to be attacked by the like of my two little brothers who are 10 and seven, respectively. And sure enough it was. I didn’t understand the building concept. I honestly didn’t want to. I grew up with Halo, dabbled with my fair share of Call of Duty, and was still one of the few people who is still a fan of Medal of Honor. I don’t want to build I want to kill kill kill. But growing up with a competitive mindset, I had to get better. I had to. The Battle Royale mode is not a new concept. Twisted Metal did it back in the day with its free-for-all, car destroying mayhem that I miss to this day, but Fortnite seemed to bring it to the masses with its art style and it has drawn out some of the craziest people I’ve ever seen. So I get better and better and start winning, but I notice something odd in the gaming industry, and I mean let’s face it, it happens all the time, to find that next trend and next big thing to make the most money. Games used to be made because people wanted to tell great stories and make these games because it’s a art form. Now it’s about the dolla dolla bills y’all.

Now, this brings me to why I think Fortnite is bad for the gaming industry as a whole. Call of Duty has come out with Black Ops 4. Awesome, right? Except the fact it has no single player campaign, instead it has its PUBG- (another battle royale game) and Fortnite-inspired game mode called "Blackout." Now, I know Blackout is awesome and it’s great, but now Battlefield 5 is gonna have battle royale, a rumor that Halo 6 is gonna have battle royale, so on and so forth. Fortnite is going to create its own demise simply from the fact that it’s creating a trend and a new way to make money instead of creating a genre. Halo with battle royale sounds like a cool concept, but it would be hard to pull off especially with the track record of 343 Industries. Battlefield 5 has problems on its own, and I feel focusing on a battle royale mode when your base game has problems isn’t the best either. Fortnite also inhibits the fact that kids are going to be spending more time wanting to play the game instead of going outside, playing sports, hanging with family, or doing other things. Yes, video games are proven to help with brain development and improve skills such as hand-eye coordination, faster thought processing, and problem solving. But at what cost? Our youth are sponges. They soak up anything and everything that’s around them and with today’s Fortnite craze, it’s going to cause some serious cases of separation anxiety, anger, and just downright isolation. Our games are going to suffer because everyone is going to attempt this, and it’s going to turn into another over saturated market of battle royale modes and games. I’m not saying Fortnite is a bad game, and I quite enjoy it myself, but it’s causing riffs and changes in the industry that I feel aren’t good. The focus should be making games that are original and good. Not carbon cutouts and cash-grabs. It’s something our youth is getting behind and it’s causing a change in behavior. I feel kids today aren’t as willing to let go of a virtual world. When I was young the internet and gaming was a baby and it took a lot for me to choose gaming over playing outside with friends, but now technology is everywhere and our youth is at the forefront. Fortnite: Battle Royale is an outlier, a game that changed the fabric of the gaming industry. It turned battle royale from a gimmick to a new trend. But can it evolve? Can the industry evolve and not let trends and the status quo dictate what’s in a game? Does Fortnite even care? This and many more to come on the next episode of DRAGON BALL Z!

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