For many kids and teens, fortnite has been the game that sucked them in and refused to let go. It’s a massive multiplayer online video game that pits players against each other in a fight to the finish. It’s developed by Epic Games, and is available for free on consoles, computers and mobile devices. The company also sells branded merchandise and produces live events for its players. It’s become a cultural phenomenon, with hundreds of millions of people playing and spending billions of dollars on in-game items.
There are three key factors that make fortnite so popular, analysts say. First, the game combines two other genres that are big hits with young gamers: building and combat. Second, it’s free-to-play, which eliminates the barrier to entry for families who might otherwise be hesitant to spend money on a single game. And finally, it has a cartoonish look that makes the violence easier to stomach than some other more gory video games.
Parents should be aware of some of the risks associated with fortnite, particularly its battle royale mode, which is rated 12+ by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB). The game’s scenes of mild violence may disturb younger players. In addition, battle royale games feature unmoderated chat functionality, which puts children at risk of exposure to inappropriate language and bullying.
In the battle royale mode, gamers drop into a map on their own or with a team of up to 99 other players. They must quickly collect weapons and other gear, then work toward a central zone where they’re all placed in a final showdown. Whoever survives the longest is declared the winner. Each match lasts about 20 minutes, making it easy to play a few rounds before moving on to another activity or going to sleep. Some kids benefit from using a timer or setting limits on how many matches they play per day, or by following our tips for finding balance with gaming and other activities.
Fortnite’s popularity has spurred many clones of its gameplay, but the developers at Epic have been quick to adapt and add new features to keep its players engaged. One of the biggest recent changes was adding Creative mode, a new gameplay option that allows users to design their own island and stage competition games or battles.
Epic’s strategy for keeping its players coming back for more has been to release new content in short intervals, called seasons. These updates change the game’s scenery, add new items to play with and create new themes for a limited period of time. Seasons also introduce in-game competitions and events that are tied to real-world celebrities and pop culture icons. This strategy can help keep the game fresh, and might appeal to older teens who want to try it for the first time or younger players who haven’t played it in a while.