Epic Games’ Fortnite has seen massive growth since they launched the free Battle Royale mode and analysts are now warning that it will impact other publishers.
The game has become hugely popular with gamers, especially younger gamers looking for a quick thrill, and word of mouth and constant posting about the game on social media has driven the audience up. This is not good news for other AAA publishers according to KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Evan Wingren speaking to CNBC.
“We believe the strong growth of Fortnite creates tactical risk to the video game publishers and could limit potential upside to consensus numbers. The game is gaining momentum in Western markets, which is likely to impact engagement for all AAA games to some degree. We believe Fortnite is growing the overall gaming TAM [total addressable market], but some cannibalization is likely.”
Fortnite and PUBG could already be impacting staples such as GTA Online which could see a 10% drop in in-game monetisation according to Morgan Stanley’s Brian Nowak.
With gamers currently enjoying the battle royale genre and pumping money into microtransactions, the AAA publishers are going to have to keep a close eye on the competition. It would not be surprising to see more of them jumping on the battle royale bandwagon. That said, there have already been a few games fall by the wayside such as The Culling which was one of the first standalone battle royale games to appear.
Having played Fortnite for a while, it really is a throwaway gameplay experience with its short games. As someone who enjoys games with more depth and longer multiplayer games, it will be frustrating to see more companies adopt the same formula at the expense of creativity and innovation. Epic has already killed off their highly promising MOBA Paragon to focus on Fortnite, which in my opinion was a decision made a little too early, but with so many players jumping on the Fortnite bandwagon it’s not a surprising decision.
Fortnite and PUBG will grow as word continues to spread around social media but let’s hope we don’t see too many more of these games appear. Fortnite isn’t for everyone and it’s not a game I have found particularly enjoyable. In my opinion, it’s not as remarkable as we are being led to believe in the gaming and mainstream press, but Social media and Twitch continue to push Fortnite as an amazing game of which we’ve never seen the like.