Fortnite – Our Thoughts On Mobile Battle Royale
Epic games dropped a bomb on the gaming community the other day with the announcement of its massively popular battle royale, Fortnite Battle Royale, coming to iOS. An Android version will be coming soon thereafter. Epic announced that pre-registration for the game would open for iOS users on March 12th, and would announce the registration for Android users at a later date. While the registration has been somewhat buggy due to the sheer number of people signing up, overall it has been successful and attracted a huge amount of attention.
Ever since the announcement of Fortnite Battle Royal back in 2017, the game has been growing in popularity and sweeping other similar games right off the table. Epic Games has been providing continual updates for the game with events, cosmetics, and even new weapon and gear types. These additions have helped to keep the game at a consistent 3.5 million concurrent players throughout the course of the game’s history. Now, with the addition of a mobile version of the game, these numbers are expected to grow.
One of the major things holding games back is the lack of accessibility outside the home. With the need to be tethered to a console or PC, time spent on Battle Royale is somewhat limited by work, school, and just general life. However, with the addition of major game producers porting their games to mobile, this was changed. Suddenly, gamers could play popular titles on the fly, like back in the hay day of Game Boy and DS. Perhaps this is why the Switch grew to be so popular so fast, being marketed as a console and a handheld simultaneously.
Battle Royale mimics have been popping up left and right in the app store, most of them taking after PUBG (the other popular battle royale game). Epic Games realized that its game was probably the most popular of the genre available, and noticed the mobile market was relatively untapped. With the port of Fortnite Battle Royale to mobile, its numbers are expected to skyrocket. Not only does this make the game more accessible, it points to a larger audience playing more consistently.
Not only this, but it has been proven time and time again that mobile users are more than likely to drop cash on microtransactions within games. Fortnite Battle Royale on mobile is expected to compare to Pokémon Go in popularity for mobile apps, and is expected to make close to the same amount of money (if not more thanks to their consistent cosmetic updates).
In addition to that, this will be the first mobile game to be cross-platform with both major consoles (Xbox One and PS4) and PC. Some are afraid that everyone will be thrown into the matches together, thus leaving mobile players at a disadvantage; however, there will be an option to opt in or out of cross-play with the various platforms. This feature will only be available on mobile. PS4, Xbox, and PC players will not be able to join a mobile lobby.
While I personally fear the mobile players will be at a major disadvantage if they queue with other platforms, it does open up the field of play and allow everyone an opportunity to battle alongside their friends in the ever-expanding map of Fortnite Battle Royale. Not only this, but it will give those of us who are already in love with the game more chances to get those Ws! I look forward to seeing the different opportunities that arise for Epic Games based on this entirely new source of income, and can’t wait to see how it influences other major developers.
What do you think? Is this a good addition to the battle royal genre, or will it flop? How do you think this will change the market for mobile games, or just major titles in general? Do you feel like mobile players will be at a disadvantage? Let us know what you think.