A wise man once said, history repeats itself
I've been a big fan of the newish game from Epic, called Fortnite. Fortnite combines many addictive genres of video games into a singular beast that can be seen by some as overwhelming. It seems like they studied the most popular mobile games and threw in their addictive gacha formulas, while maintaining a clean and efficient zombie horde shooter. It's the perfect gamer addict stew.
So why am I talking about Fortnite? Well one of the things I stated while reviewing this game on my twitch channel was:
"This game could be great, only if the developers don't kill it themselves".
What did I mean by that? I meant the current state of the game was almost perfect and only needed a few more touches before it would be wildly successful. A few weeks later, Fortnite released a new battle royale game mode which put a bunch of players on an island and last man standing wins. Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you know the battle royale genre is insanely popular on platforms such as Steam where PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS surpassed Valve's own Dota 2 and CS:GO in player numbers. So once Fortnite added a battle royale mode, I began to remember another company that was in the same position, if not better, than Epic. That company was Sony Online Entertainment, now known as Daybreak Games.
Daybreak games made a little game called H1Z1 during the height of the survival zombie shooter craze. It was hyped by all the outlets and was seen as the "DayZ killer" of its time. But then something happened, SOE (now Daybreak) decided to make a battle royale mode in H1Z1. Here are the order of events where things began to decline:
- H1Z1: King of the Kill was announced to be as a separate standalone free to play game.
- H1Z1: Just Survive would still exist in its original format and nothing was going to change.
- Daybreak Games announced H1Z1 will no longer be free to play as originally announced.
- A tremendous amount of development resources went into making H1Z1: King of the Kill and left the original game, H1Z1: Just Survive, in a neglected state.
- Today, H1Z1 is a shadow of its former self, and while still relatively popular, is nowhere near its original potential.
So back to Epic and their game, Fortnite. I see a company here that is potentially blinded by profits. In a matter of days, top gaming personalities have tried and praised Fortnite's new battle royale game mode, and I would bet Epic's sales have almost doubled. Only a few days after the mode was introduced, Epic announced that Fornite's battle royale mode will be a separate game and will be free to play. Sound familiar?
My immediate reaction was: "THAT WAS THE ONE THING I ASKED YOU NOT TO DO!" It seems Epic may be on the same path as H1Z1. Battle royale games are riding a severe high right now and Epic's top brass are tasting the delicious profits. My fear is their greed will shift priorities and the game I've grown to love will be neglected, just as H1Z1: Just Survive.
Fortnite, please don't become H1Z1.