Fortnite: A video game vying for Olympics

Fortnite: A video game vying for Olympics

In 1896, the first modern Olympics took place in Athens. The games had events like wrestling, swimming, athletics, cycling, and so on. Fast forward to 2020 and there are talks of including Fortnite, a video game with a largely young user base, to the Olympics. Although a very popular game, there are still many who do not know much about it than the ‘fact’ that their children are addicted to it. This is for those who seek to gather some information.

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite is an online game started by Epic Games, in 2017. The game originally had only one mode known as Save the World in the players versus environment (PvE) format. In PvE, players fight computer-controlled enemies as opposed to real players. The latter, or player versus player, is commonly known as PvP. The game mode, although popular, never made any real impact and the gaming community could have passed it off as any other video game.

In the September of 2017, Epic Games released Fortnite Battle Royale, a PvP mode where 100 player drop on an island from a bus flying overhead. The players must also stay in the ever-shrinking safe zone as a lightning storm is closing in. The unique feature of Fortnite is its building mechanism. The players in the game can harvest materials and build stairs, floors, walls, and so on while trying to fight others at the same time. This is one unique feature, unseen yet in any other game.

Fortnite: A video game vying for Olympics

Fortnite can be downloaded on most devices from their play stores, PC players will have to download a launcher to then download the game. Although the game is free to play, players can pay to buy currency known as V-Bucks to purchase avatars (skins), dances and other cosmetics from the in game shop. The game is about 17.5 GB on PC, 7.5 GB on PS4.

As soon as it was released, the game took the world by storm (Pardon the pun). The game got about 10 million players by the end of its first two weeks, which quickly grew to 125 million players at the end of the first year and as of May 2020, 350 million players plus. The game is compared to Minecraft which has had a lasting impact.

Fortnite: A video game vying for Olympics

Growth of game

The game’s growth is linked to many factors. One of the main reasons was the amount of publicity the game received from streamers playing the game. After its release in 2017, many streamers on Twitch (a streaming platform) like Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, Dr Lupo, Myth live-streamed them playing, gave their own commentary while they were in the game. As the viewers of all these individual streamers started playing the game, the popularity of Fortnite grew. Numerous celebrities such as Drake, Chance the Rapper, Joe Jonas, Neymar Jr and Marshmello expressed their love for gaming and shared clips of them playing.

In March 2018, Ninja broke the record for the number of viewers watching a Twitch stream at one time, when 6.35 lakh people tuned in to watch him play Fortnite with Drake, Travis Scott, and American footballer JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Fortnite: A video game vying for Olympics

When talking about Fortnite, one has to mention Tyler ‘Ninja Blevins. His current net worth is around $15 million. Blevins helped in making Fortnite what it is today and, in the process, rose to fame himself. His help did not go unrewarded. The 28-year-old, who was virtually unknown before the game came out, became a celebrity through the game. Time magazine even included Ninja on their list of 100 most influential people of 2019.

Although Ninja is arguably the most famous, Fortnite has made the careers of many more people, who stream the game and post videos of them doing funny things while playing. Fortnite also gives back to its content creators by making Creator Code which players can use during in-game purchases. This gives a percentage of the money to the content creators.

Impact of Fortnite

There has been several video games over the years but none could make an impact on pop culture as Fortnite. The game is also pretty popular among many sportsmen, who show their love for it by dancing, a feat ‘accomplishable’ in Fortnite. The game has appeared all over the internet including getting a sketch in shows like Saturday Night Live, South Park and the Big Bang Theory. Fortnite even has a cameo in the largest grossing movie of all time, Avengers Endgame, as the Russo brothers (the directors of the film) are big fans of the game. This also led to a limited-time mode called the Thanos LTM which was a tie-in with the movie and the game. Fortnite has also hosted two virtual in-game concerts by artists Marshmello and Travis Scott. The latter had 12.3 million players watching it concurrently in the game.

Fortnite’s popularity can be summed up in the fact that there is now a Fortnite World Cup. From July 26 to 28, 2019, the first ever Fortnite World Cup took place in the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. The competition even included a Pro-Am tournament with 50 professional players playing in duos with 50 celebrity partners. Qualifiers were open in every continent and country with a certain number of people being able to qualify from each region. The big winner of the first World Cup was 16-year-old Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdof, who went home $3 million richer.

Fortnite: A video game vying for Olympics

Although there are many games out there, Fortnite seems to be towering over the rest. The game is still relatively new and so the longevity is yet to be ascertained. It is amazing to see that we live in a world where playing video games can be an amazing career choice and can propel you to superstardom. Then again, in today’s day and age, where internet celebrities are innumerable, a career in video games might not be the most absurd choice.

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