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Fortnite Battle Royale as a way of connecting during the pandemic

    Fortnite Battle Royale, developed by Epic Games, has become one of the most popular video games since it was released in 2017. The game counts a number of celebrities amongst its users, like the rapper Drake, and the DJ Marshmello, which contributes further to the popularity of the game. As one of the highest revenue-earning games to have ever been created, Fortnite Battle Royale has become a cultural phenomenon, played by millions across the world.  

    How it works

    The concept behind Fortnite Battle Royale is pretty simple, with 100 players skydiving onto an island, and then using gear that they scavenge to defend themselves against the opposing players. Whilst the game can be played solo, it can also be played in teams of 2, called duos, or 4, which is referred to as a squad. Throughout the progression of the game, the area of the island in which the gamers can play shrinks, thus limiting the amount of room players can work with. The game ends with the last player or team that is left alive.

    Fortnite. Celebrating 3rd birthday.

    The reason behind Fortnite Battle Royale becoming such a phenomenon that seems to have taken over the gaming world is pretty clear to see. In addition to having no price tag attached, the game has infinite possibilities in its’ playability, with each game being unique every time. Additionally, the simple cartoon graphics of the game allow for a much younger audience to partake, with nearly two-thirds of the players aged between 18 and 24. Moreover, these players are pretty devoted to the game – more than 20% of fans admitting to spend more than 16 hours on the game weekly. Critical reception has been mostly positive, with the game being praised for its’ art style, multiplayer system, learning curve and progression system. 

    Connecting during Coronavirus

    With the outbreak of COVID-19, the world was essentially shut down, and it was not uncommon for people to find themselves spending their days in front of a screen, passing the time through gaming. In May 2020, the number of registered users on Fortnite Battle Royale rose to 350 million. With the ability to connect players around the world, gamers found themselves using Fortnite Battle Royale as a mode of socialising with friends from near and far.

    An online meting point for social activities

    However, Fortnite Battle Royale has not only been used by gamers as a form of connection – celebrities have used the game as a platform to connect with their fans as well. Most famously was the hip-hop artist, Travis Scott, who was scheduled to perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2020, until coronavirus interfered with these plans. Scott transformed Fortnite Battle Royale into an interactive music video, with psychedelic iconography and a holographic image of Scott taking over the interactive universe of the game. This event attracted 12.3 million in-game players, which is the largest viewed event in the history of Fortnite Battle Royale. Evidently, this is a game that offers limitless opportunities, and coronavirus has been the perfect excuse to explore them all. 

    “Scott’s event attracted 12.3 million in-game players”