1. Fortnite Battle Royale
The Battle Royale trend is huge right now, and Epic Games has all but perfected it with Fortnite Battle Royale. Initially developed as a sort of add-on for Fortnite, Battle Royale took off in a way that nobody was anticipating, quickly becoming one of the most played games of 2018.
The game is entirely based around a simple scenario: you’re dumped in a map with 99 other players in a free-for-all melee, and the only winner is the one who is left standing at the end. And, thanks to its meteoric success, Epic Games is hard at work adding new game modes and features all the time. Take Playground mode, for instance – it dumps you in the map and lets you build up structures for a set amount of time before the floodgates open and the carnage begins.
What’s especially cool is that Fortnite lets you play with your friends, no matter what platform they’re on. Whether you’re on PC, Xbox One, iOS, Android and even soon PS4, you’ll be able to be matched up against millions of other players from all different platforms.
As an online battle royale game, Fortnite Battle Royale features up to a hundred players, either alone, in duos, or in squads of up to four players, attempting to be the last player or group alive by eliminating other players or evading them, while staying within a constantly shrinking safe zone to prevent taking lethal damage from being outside it. Players start with no intrinsic advantages, and must scavenge for weapons and armor to gain the upper hand on their opponents. The game adds the construction element from Fortnite; players can break down most objects in the game world to gain resources they can use to build fortifications as part of their strategy. Limited-time modes are cycled through the game that introduce experimental or unconventional gameplay but otherwise follow the battle royale “last player standing” goal. While the game world remains the same for all matches, Epic presents a seasonal approach that may make small or major changes to the game world, including simultaneous single-time events that occur on all game servers. The game features cross-platform play between the platforms that was limited for the first five seasons, before the restrictions were eased.
The idea for Fortnite Battle Royale arose following the release of the similar battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which saw numerous player count records broken throughout 2017. Seeing its rapid growth and commercial success, Epic Games saw the opportunity to create a battle royale mode of their own. Originally released as part of the paid Fortnite game, Epic spun out a dedicated version of the game offered as free-to-play funded by microtransactions, sharing in-game currency with the main Fortnite game, allowing players to buy or earn cosmetic items to customize their character, as well as completing challenges through a battle pass to earn additional rewards. As of January 2019, the game has seen over 200 million players, and has been estimated to have earned $2.4 billion in microtransactions. Fortnite Battle Royale has become a cultural phenomenon, with streams of the game achieving record-high viewerships, and with several high-profile celebrities stating their appreciation of the game.