Fortnite season four is dropping tomorrow, and the hype train around the game continues to grow ever larger. But, with such an enormous following, how is the game still in early access?
Esports encompasses games from League of Legends to Overwatch and Counterstrike: Global Offensive. But now, battle royale games like PUBG and Fortnite present contenders for redefining the future of esports.
The first ever Fortnite tournament just happened starring streamer Tyler “Ninja” Bevins in Las Vegas. Just like the game, the event was a massive success. Anyone who paid the $75 entry fee could participate in the tournament.
This mimics the accessibility of the game which is now the world’s top battle royale style game. So why is a game that is in its fourth season still in early access?
Meteor Impact Imminent for Season Four
Fortnite redefines esports and battle royale games alike, but it isn’t even out of early access yet. Despite this, the hype train behind the game just won’t stop.
You can see in the video above that a mysterious comet or meteor strikes during streamer @jetpackGG’s match. His reaction is appropriately comical and surprising.
Since season three debuted astronaut themed skins and weapons, everyone is buzzing about what season four will bring.
The key theory around the season four release involves superheroes AND supervillains. Hot on the heels of the latest Avengers film release, Epic Games seems to have a plan here.
Some players believe that popular drop location Tilted Towers will be destroyed. Not just for in-game lore reasons, but because it is one of the most popular drop points in the game.
The gif of this Key and Peele sketch lampoons how players pretend they want to drop anywhere but Tilted Towers. Pro-tip: everyone ALWAYS wants to drop at Tilted Towers.
So why is this immensely successful game still in early access?
Learning From Failures With Paragon
Fortnite entered a paid-for early access mode for PC, Mac, and consoles in July 2017. The free-to-play Battle Royale mode launched in September 2017 then came to iOS in April 2018.
As a result of the battle royale popularity, Epic Games diverted more resources to the PvE story mode in Fortnite, too. Unfortunately, the other MOBA developed alongside Fortnite known as Paragon suffered its demise for Fortnite’s success.
Like its peer, Paragon was a cross-platform multiplayer arena style game. But Fortnite is Minecraft meets Left 4 Dead while Paragon was somewhere between DOTA, Magic the Gathering, and Counterstrike.
For Paragon, repeated gameplay switch-ups alienated fans and new players alike.
Epic Games ultimately decided to shut down Paragon to focus solely on Fortnite.
So Epic Games’ hesitation to fully launch Fortnite may stem from their poor experience with Paragon.
Maybe they just want to see how many $20 skins each player will buy every week.
But the game rewards you with in-game currency for completing PvE story mode missions. There are randomized loot llamas, but you can buy or craft the weapons you want. Other microtransactions include different hero skins, pickaxe skins, and emotes.
Regardless of Epic Game’s reasons for delaying the full launch, the game is already a cultural phenomenon.
Brace for Impact! Season Four Starts Today
If you haven’t tried Fortnite out yet, you might be the only one. That gif is the Houston Astros doing the same “jubilation” dance pictured earlier.
The hype train continues to steamroll as we prepare for the night of season four’s comet.