Fortnite doesn’t have the panache it once did.
Don’t get us wrong, the game is still hugely popular.
And it is definitely making a bunch of money for Epic Games.
But the narrative around it has changed these past few months, and not for the better.
Yet it might be due to factors largely outside of the game’s control, such as public perception of their parent company, or it could be due to the rise of new battle royale games to challenge Fortnite’s dominance.
As for the first part, what could possibly sour the gaming public on Epic Games?
Have you heard about a little thing called the Epic Games Store?
It is basically their competitor to Steam, and it has not gone over well with most people.
Not only is it giving developers and publishers a larger cut of the final sale, but also it is undercutting Valve’s pioneering service with exclusive games, much in the vein of a console.
This is not acceptable for most PC gamers, and they have made their displeasure known and it is possibly starting to impact Fortnite.
You see, everyone is starting to think that Fortnite was a trojan horse for this new games service, and, once you find out you’ve been “invaded” so to speak, most people are unhappy.
While it isn’t definitive that this has impacted Fortnite, it probably has.
Because let’s face it, Fortnite was a meme factory before the Epic Games Store debacles started hitting the headlines.
Whether it is just people who hate on anything popular or those gamers who really have an issue with its whole business model, Fortnite has been anything if not controversial.
But it also might be just another bright star fading fast in a genre that came out of nowhere a couple of years ago and which might not be here a couple of years from now.
Battle royale games are evolving at a really quick rate and this might also be why Fortnite is falling behind. EA’s Apex has stolen a lot of the thunder that Fortnite once had but this also just points to a fickle audience more than it does a deficiency or inherent superiority in either game.
Of course, both of those points don’t look at the social factors that might be impeding Fortnite’s success going forward, like comparing it to gambling.
At its core, the business model that Fortnite relies upon to make money is what has so many people upset, and it is that cash cow that Epic Games both relies upon and can’t change for fear of killing the golden goose.
Fortnite is dying because it is perceived as predatory and antisocial. Whether any of that is fair is another topic entirely but when you have a publisher that plays hardball when it comes to snagging exclusives in the PC gaming segment, almost any argument against you is going to stick.
Let’s not forget that five years ago Steam was really all there was in the PC gaming space when it came to triple-A games and it provided a needed solution for a lot of publishers. Epic Games may soon learn that, if you aim for the king, you better not miss.