What Happened to Fortnite, and Why Is Minecraft Coming Back?


Lincoln Byrd

Epic Games’ Fortnite: Battle Royale is one of the biggest video games in the world. Releasing in September of 2017 and becoming one of the biggest trends in early 2018, the free every-man-for-himself/last-one-standing game was at one point the most played game in the world. So what has happened to it, and why is Minecraft, the one-time biggest game in the world, coming back? 

Fortnite had risen to fame for its tremendous impact on pop culture and teens. People from celebrities to 5-year-olds became obsessed with showing off their “#1 Victory Royale” screen to their friends and followers. But Fortnite reached its peak at the beginning of Season 5, which began mid-summer of 2018, and has been on a decline ever since. 

The reason people kept playing back in the day was because Fortnite, believe it or not, had a story. This story was always a mystery that would have players complete challenges, and over time in updates there would be changes to the in-game map, where small new stuff was added that eventually turned out to be important. This mystery storyline intrigued players all over the world, inducing them to keep playing, and that’s why Fortnite had lasted for so long.

Now, Fortnite’s players have been decreasing with every new update due to a mix of different concerns, according to Fortnite’s analytics from Epic Games. All over social media, many players have recently become upset with Epic Games for making too many changes to the map, removing classic locations that the game was known for, and adding new undesirable places. Others are angry because the game has been vaulting weapons and items that are essential to the game and adding broken and overpowered items to replace them. At the start of Season X (10), most would agree that the game at that point was completely unfair and broken, yet some people still played for the developing storyline.

Another factor in Fortnite’s decline was the release of another free Battle Royale game known as Apex Legends. The most notable differences between the two is that Apex Legends is a first-person shooter and has more realistic graphics, while Fortnite is a third-person shooter and is more cartoon-like.

Apex Legends drew a lot of attention and took a lot of Fortnite’s players due to a more fun and balanced game according to most former Fortnite players, but even with all that, Fortnite still remained on top of the video game world.

The breaking point for most people was when Fortnite removed a game feature known as “turbo-building,” which was essential to the game. Turbo-building allowed the more skilled players to build quicker and more effectively to make cover for them when in attack or attacking. Removing this feature makes it tougher on skilled players, and basically makes it a game that anyone could win. This caused many players to quit, even streamers on Twitch and Mixer, who have made careers simply off playing the game.

It’s safe to say that Epic Games is destroying its own game without even knowing it, but that isn’t a problem for Mojang, developers of Minecraft.

The action/adventure game Minecraft held the throne of the biggest video game ever since 2011, long before Fortnite. Minecraft had become incredibly popular with youth for its first couple of years and then went on the decline and became irrelevant due to other popular video games such as Call of Duty, Halo, and eventually Fortnite. So why is it making a comeback?

Well, ever since the beginning of the end for Fortnite back in the fall of 2018, former Fortnite players began going back to their old roots after Epic Games began drastically changing the game. Streamers ended up going back to Minecraft, which eventually made a lot of teens hop on the bandwagon.

Minecraft has always been popular among kids and gaming culture, but it wasn’t until the biggest independent YouTube creator in the world, PewDiePie, decided to start a series of Minecraft gameplay that it made a comeback. Since his channel has well over 100 million subscribers, the Minecraft audience began increasing once again, while Fortnite’s players, views, and streams began to decline.

It would have been safe to say that Fortnite had officially dethroned Minecraft for the “biggest game in the world” title, but Minecraft made its way back into relevance as Epic Games kept on  destroying its own game. People still play the game, but it has just changed so much from its peak that it’s unknown if it will ever get back to where it once was.