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The Royal Battle of “Fortnite” upsets the deal

Illustration of the video game “Fortnite”. Epic Games

It is probably necessary to go back to the beginning of the 1990s and to Street Fighter II to see a video game become as fast as the new darling of an entire industry. The Fortnite Battle Royale, Epic Games, was the star of the year and the game most sought after by the builders. PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One … None of the consoles of the market did the economy of a launch offer with Fortnite integrated. This is another proof of the exceptional popularity of this fun-filled, building-friendly shooter, launched in 2017 and which exploded commercially this year.

With the addition of the “battle royal” mode – a hundred players clash until one survives – he now claims 200 million registered, a figure unheard of for a Western production. “In terms of spontaneous awareness, it's never seen. Never had a new license reached such popularity so quickly. “says Thomas Grellier, associate director and co-founder of EMIC. What to mark and accompany a whole generation: according to a study by Newzoo, 68% of players under 30 years have already done.

The reasons for its success are many: popularity of the concept of “royal battle”, free download, whimsical universe and harmless cartoon, wide variety of parties, customization possibilities, use of interaction psychologists, regularly added new features …

Antoine Griezmann signs his goals of the dance of the L

The many videos that the youtubers have dedicated to him have only accelerated things, as has its adoption by footballers like Antoine Griezmann, who regularly signs his goals for the dance of the L, a celebration of the game. been such as even Call of Duty and Counter-Strike, series of historical shooting games, have converted to the concept.

Not happy to have vampirized the media attention throughout the year, Fortnite launched in December a new mode “free construction”, which comes directly encroach on the flower beds of the biggest phenomenon of the years 2010, Minecraft. And its publisher, the American Epic Games, long specialized in high-budget Hollywood games and software suites for developers, has taken an additional step by launching around Fortnite an online gaming store, the Epic Games Store, on December 7th. Worn by several temporary exclusivities and a model of remuneration of creators more generous than the competition, it instantly imposed itself as the most ambitious alternative to Steam, the mastodon of the dematerialized distribution on computer, whose quasi-monopoly creaks teeth for several years.

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A sign that does not deceive: this studio of 700 people based in North Carolina is valued $ 15 billion (13.1 billion euros), and its largest shareholder – 40% – is the Chinese giant Web Tencent.

William Audureau

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