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The gaming world is «Fortnite» crazy: How come this game is so immensely popular?

125 million gamers; over 200 million dollars monthly turnover – and counting. «Fortnite» has taken the world by storm. About time to get to the bottom of this global phenomenon.

If a footballer strikes a pose from a video game after scoring at the World Cup, the video game’s marketing team has done something right. Not that «Fortnite» relies on extra publicity; at its peak in February this year, no fewer than 3.4 million gamers all over the world were playing the multiplayer sensation at the same time. Since the battle royale mode was launched in September 2017, «Fortnite» has been riding on the crest of a wave of success. No other game since «Pac-Man» or «Tetris» has stirred up the gaming world as much.

All this success came despite a rather shaky beginning. The original «Fortnite» was presented to the public at the Spike Game Awards back in 2011. In the following years, not much was heard of the new release, which was created by the renowned studio Epic. It was originally intended to be the flagship of the game engine «Unreal 4 Engine». On 25 July 2017, «Fortnite – Save the World» was finally released as a fee-based early access version. However, this cooperative tower defence game with zombies (husks) wasn’t received particularly well. Nevertheless, Epic announced it had reached the one million player mark the following August.

The original «Fortnite» is also supposed to be converted into a free-to-play version soon.

At the time, all eyes were on another Unreal Engine game: «PUBG»’s version of Battle Royale struck a chord with gamers all over the globe. One success story followed another. With this in mind, it didn’t come as a surprise that Epic announced shortly after: «We love Battle Royal games such as PUBG and we think Fortnite would be a great foundation for our own version». No sooner said than done; «Fortnite – Battle Royale» was launched on 26 September 2017. The rest is history. «PUBG», which kicked off the Battle Royale trend, is still extremely popular today, but has become comparatively insignificant. «Fortnite», on the other hand, has become part of pop culture. How’s that possible? Let’s take a look at a few reasons.

«Fortnite» is free

The easiest way to attract gamers is to offer a game at no cost. While the cooperative mode isn’t free of charge, Epic offered the Battle Royale mode as a free-to-play version from the very start. This makes the entry hurdle particularly low and is a major advantage over the largest competitor «PUBG», which recently launched its first ever discount campaign. Despite this, according to a study, Epic has managed to get nearly 70 percent of all players to spend an average of 85 dollars on their gaming experience.

Personally, I haven't paid «Fortnite» a cent yet, but it has made me play «Save the World» only to collect the in-game currency Vbucks, which I could then invest in a Battle Pass. I was given the original «Fortnite» by a friend ages ago; there was a 4-for-1 offer at the time.

«Minecraft» generation

Unlike most classic Battle Royale games, «Fortnite» relies on an unusual mixture of shooter and crafting. Together with its colourful, cheerful style, it appeals to those players who – a few years ago – were still working away on blocks with the pickaxe in «Minecraft». These players can now parade their balloon axes, vuvuzelas, lama unicorns or whatever other skins they like to use in «Fortnite». The crafting system may not allow for the same complexity, but it creates a familiar scenario and makes it easier to get started.


«PUBG» was only a few months old and the real highlight was yet to come. While the wave of copycats was still in the planning phase or hadn't even caught on to the upcoming hype, Epic had already released its own battle royale mode. As publisher and support centre for the Unreal 4 Engine, which «PUBG» is based on, Epic had their finger on the pulse right from the start. The early launch in September meant the video game company had enough time to successfully establish itself on the market.


The developers are definitely not lacking originality and imagination.

Epic quickly realised they were onto something with «Fortnite» and keep on providing regular updates – new weapons, skins, level changes or fresh game ideas – to this day. «Fortnite» is dynamic and makes you feel like something new is happening all the time. On top of this, Epic takes player's opinions seriously and incorporates user feedback into updates.

Special moments

«Fortnite» isn’t a linear game. The aim of the game might be rather straightforward – you have 100 opponents and want to be the last one standing – but getting there is a real adventure every time around. You might build a proud fortress, one that makes every maiden's heart beat faster, just to see it be hit by a rocket, shatter into a thousand pieces and bury you underneath it seconds later. Or you might find yourself in a shopping trolley race with your teammates and notice that another team has joined you as you speed down a lush green hill. You never know if your opponents will get out their guns once you reach the finishing line or if they'll take to the dancefloor first – thanks to Boogie Bomb. «Fortnite» is always good for surprises. The latest additions, golf carts and golf courts, prove this once again.


While «Save the World» is overly complex, Epic has kept the Battle Royale mode simple. The game's principle is easy to understand and the iconic design makes sure you always know where you are and never get lost. The weapons and items are classified in the well-known RPG colour scheme and their handling is intuitive: There's one button for aiming and one for firing. As there are only five weapon or equipment slots, there's no need for unnecessary inventory management. Weapon attachments don't exist either.

The principles of crafting are easy to grasp, even though the crucial speed and skills take a little longer to master.

With the launch of the iOS version, system-based accessibility has also greatly increased. It's possible to play with the same account on all supported systems (except PS4 – Sony's the spoilsport here), so you can work on your progress anywhere and game together with your friends.

A darn good game

However, all these aspects would be useless if «Fortnite» wasn't essentially a good game. But it's just that. The bright colours, the varied level design and the numerous imaginative weapons provide for splendid entertainment. In addition, the waiting time between games is extremely short, so you keep wanting to play another round. The crafting system is intuitive and creates unmatched gaming dynamics. Instead of hiding, players run across open fields knowing they can hide behind thick metal walls if they must.

The level system and the different seasons provide additional motivation. As a player, you constantly face new challenges or small missions, so you don't have to chase after the Victory Royale, but can focus on carrying out a range of tasks. If you buy the optional Battle Pass, you'll level up and get even more skins, emotes or toys.

Whether you're gaming with friends, plunging into the unknown with random people or looking for an adventure on your own, «Fortnite» is sure to keep you entertained. I’ll see you in the Tilted Towers!

What about you? Have you also been bitten by the «Fortnite» bug or are you shaking your head in disbelief?

Let us know!
What do you think of «Fortnite»?

It's awesome! I can't get enough of it.


The hype annoys the heck out of me.


I couldn't care less.


I'd like to give it a go.




Philipp Rüegg, Zurich

  • Teamleader Odin
Being the game and gadget geek that I am, working at digitec and Galaxus makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop – but it does take its toll on my wallet. I enjoy tinkering with my PC in Tim Taylor fashion and talking about games on my podcast . To satisfy my need for speed, I get on my full suspension mountain bike and set out to find some nice trails. My thirst for culture is quenched by deep conversations over a couple of cold ones at the mostly frustrating games of FC Winterthur.


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User buob.rick

its a shitty childs game over hyped by money hungry streamers and youtubers... nothing special... gets boring fast...

User Vectron4k

So true...

User Anonymous

no class for the mass.

User mathew1243

Thank you for your thoughtful, well written, enriching and not at all toxic comment.

User buob.rick

lol? what part of that comment was toxic? the part of me calling it a shit game? or that its over hyped by greedy streamers? or the fact that i gave my opinion on the matter?

please grow a pair... if unable to then please go play sensitive social justice warrior elsewhere... thank you


go learn what real internet toxicity is, cause if that is "toxic" for you, then the internet is not a place for you my friend... log off now...

User daniel

You are toxic.

Fortnite FTW

User branduin

Der Arzt zum Patienten:
Sind bei Ihnen irgendwelche Störungen oder Behinderungen bekannt?

Patient: Was?

Arzt: Ob Sie Fortnite spielen hab ich gefragt!

User alain1989

Mein grösstes Problem mit PUBG ist der Entwickler selbst. In keinem Game bisher fühlt man sich so gemolken wie hier. Einerseits Bugs soweit das Auge reicht, andererseits das triple dipping (Kosten vom Game, Kosten vom Schlüssel für Lootbox und Kosten für Saison Pass).

User Philipp Rüegg

Das geht mir auch brutal auf den Sack. Ich hab mittlerweile eine Lagerhalle voller Kisten, die ich nicht öffnen kann. Ich finde, sie müssten einem da entgegen kommen. Ohne Keys kriegst du nur wertlosen Loot. Hab nach fast 400h nie irgendein geiles Item bekommen, das kanns doch nicht sein

User oliverdp

Stimmt sicher. Abgesehen davon nimmt sich Fortnite im Vergleich zu PUBG aber vor allem auch selber nicht zu ernst und fühlt sich irgendwie auch einfach "gut" an. PUBG wirkt dagegen bierernst. Das ist natürlich Geschmacksache - für mich aber aussschlaggebend.

User Adrian S

>Spielt ein neues game, kauft sich direkt für 50 Franken skins
>Beklagt sich darüber das skins zu teuer sind
>Spielt 2 wochen Später ein neues game, kauft sich direkt für 50 Franken skins
>Beklagt sich darüber das skins zu teuer sind
Rinse and repeat

Ihr seid echt selberschuld das eure geliebte Spieleindustrie so mühsame Macken hat

User simon.hollenstein

Schön beschrieben! Bis bald bei Tilted... :D


Fortnite ist nicht per se gratis, nicht wenn man den PVE Modus spielen will, mit dem es angefangen hat. Ich habe den Battle Royal Modus von Fortnite noch nicht einmal gestartet, interessiert mich nicht. Ich war aber selbst bei der closed Alpha dabei.

User -Spooky-

Schließe ich mich an. Der PvE Modus hätte mehr zu bieten, wenn sie sich einfach mal drum bemühen würde. Kapitalismus Olé!

User deadstar

Hey es gibt sie wirklich meine STW Brüder

User wawayaoyue

Ich spiele seit zwei Saisons. Es ist wirklich attraktiv. Es ist jetzt die fünfte Saison, um sich auf neue Elemente zu freuen.

User melushcca

Überall lese ich, das sich Sony querstellt usw. Ich spiele auf der ps4 und verstehe das Problem nicht? Ich kann auch am PC oder am Handy mit dem selben Account spielen und crossplattform funktioniert auch. Um was geht es da?

User simon.amsler

Wie ich gelesen habe geht Crossplattform mit PS und XBOX nicht. Sony wollte soviel ich weiss nichts mit der Konkurrenz zu tun haben. Auf dieser Seite findest du unten eine Tabelle mit den Kompatibilitäten:

User melushcca

Ach so dann ist Crossplattform zwischen PS4 und XBOX nicht vorhanden. Kann man denn das nicht auch umgehen, wenn man sich mit dem Epic Konto verknüpft und dadurch miteinander spielt? So mache ich es mit Kollegen, welche am PC spielen. Das hat Epic, wie ich finde, super gelöst.

User simon.amsler

Finde die Umsetzung des Crossplattform auch super. Die Möglichkeit zwischen PS4 und anderen Konsolen ist jedoch trotz epic account nicht möglich.

User ChromeMystic

Zwischendurch war es sogar so, dass du aus deinem eigenen Account ausgesperrt warst wenn du dich auf ner PS in den Epic Account eingeloggt hast und danach woanders drauf zugreifen wolltest. Keine Ahnung ob es mittlerweile gefixt ist. Pretty Good Gaming hat damals drüber berichtet.

User andreashil

aus meiner alters range hinaus. ich bin und bleibe ein quake 2er Lithium Style 😂😂😂😂 )=

User adrian.thum

Ich dachte zwar immer, ich würde selten bis nie am Handy zocken. Doch PUBG Mobile änderte dies. Ich mag es eher realistischer umgesetzt, als dieser Comic Stil. Aber jedem das seine. Ich spiele das Game seit es für Android verfügbar ist. Aber Geld habe ich bisher keins ausgegeben.

User visu1893

Ich spiele nur den 50vs50-Modus. Wie ein zusammengewürfelter Haufen gegen ein anderer zusammengewürfelter Haufen spielt, ist schon witzig, aber natürlich ganz schon ärgerlich, wenn die eigenen Spieler alles ins verderben stürzen (Granate im eigenem Lager zünden etc)

User SwissCrow85

Ich spiele Fortnite "erst" seit Saison 3 und es hat schon einen Suchtfaktor.
Wenn ich mit Randoms spiele, schalte ich den In Game Chat aus, dann ist es schön ruhig.
Die Kids fliegen gerne zu Tilted oder aktuell Loot Lake usw.

User EmanuelSchmidt

Macht offensichtlich sü

User fabian

So wie wirklich jedes Computerspiel, dass ist nicht wirklich was Neues. Deshalb wird aber nicht jeder Spieler süchtig, anders als es bei anderen Dingen der Fall ist, die abhängig machen.

User fumo

Es ist einfach, anspruchslos und passt bestens zur no-brain-no-effort-generation, darum.

User MrCrandy

Wtf was für anspruchslos?! Klar public Games sind für spieler die dieses Spiel viel gespielt haben relativ easy, aber du klings eher so als hättest du das spiel ne halbe stunde höchstens gespielt... Fortnite ist eins der anspruchsvollsten spiele, vor allem im Lategame! und no brain stimmt auch überhaupt nicht, ich habe viele verschiedene Spiele gespielt unteranderem CsGo auf Global Elo und ESEA A+ und bei fortnite braucht man mindestens genau so viel hirnzellen wie bei Cs und etwa 2000mal mehr als bei lol... ein fight gegen einen spieler oder gar ne endzone in nem scrim ist verdammt intense und mann muss genau überlegen was man baut und wo man sich zeigt... TBH. es gibt kein Game in dem man über soviele minuten soviel beachten muss ohne pause.