This time last year, Fortnite was just another cooperative wave shooter that no one really cared about. Released as a paid early access game in July 2017, Fortnite in its original form still exists but hardly anyone plays it for the “Save the World” tower defense mode anymore. Spurred on by the enormous success of the battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, developer Epic Games crafted their own battle royale mode for Fortnite in just two months’ time and released it in September 2017. Since then, there’s been no looking back, as Fortnite has surpassed PUBG to become not just the most popular battle royale game on the market, but an outright phenomenon that has generated over a billion dollars in revenue.
And up until recently, I wanted nothing to do with any of it.
If you’re playing video games in 2018, Fortnite is unavoidable and much like anything that becomes massively popular, it’s a game that has attracted a large following of haters quick to point its many flaws and how it’s just a “game for kids.” While I followed Epic’s journey with the game and marveled at how it became a legitimate craze, I fell into the camp of people who just couldn’t fathom why everyone was so obsessed with a game that, from the outside, didn’t look all that special. I tried a few matches, got frustrated when I’d get gunned down almost immediately by another player I didn’t see drop in behind me, and quickly decided that this Fortnite business wasn’t for me.