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 A Case for Sharing the Crown

Fortnite vs. PUBG - A Case for Sharing the Crown

The idea was to blend the genres of survival horror and tower defense into a co-op shooter with threads of Minecraft woven into the players’ fight against the undead. After six years in chaotic development, Fortnite launched with a campaign mode and a generally positive reception from anxious fans. In the end, however, it was the battle royale aspect of Fortnite that captivated gamers the most.

Dizzy yet? So were we, at first. Knitting together so many unique elements into one game might sound like a daunting and unachievable mess. But, even before an impromptu Twitch stream featuring Ninja escorting Drake to victory introduced a whole new wave of fans to the battle royale genre, Fortnite was already climbing the ladder of success well enough by its lonesome. And that steady advance has everything to do with the stable foundation on which Fortnite is built.

Battle royale titles have been taking the gaming community by storm over the past year, unavoidably drawing parallels between the most popular among them. Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, is both a developer and a publisher. They also license their suite of development tools (Unreal Engine) to Bluehole to create and maintain another popular battle royale title we love, PUBG. Because of those similarities, Epic Games received backlash from Changhan Kim, Bluehole VP and executive producer, as he gave the impression Fortnite is an opportunistic grab at a genre made popular by someone else. Namely, them.

Aside from genre and the use of Unreal Engine, however, we aren’t convinced Fortnite and PUBG are even in the same wheelhouse, so the former will not be the death knell of the latter.

Unlike PUBG, the fact that Fortnite is both free to play and utterly devoid of gore doesn't hurt its appeal to the general populace. Likewise, features such as surfing rockets, hiding in bushes, assembling your own cover, and feeling the powerful thrill of launching player-guided missiles make sense in Fortnite—because of course it does. Where the PUBG experience is a serious immersion in deep, suspenseful realism, Fortnite wields cartoonish whimsy and enforces out-of-the-box creative thinking on the part of the player. Those same aspects dropped into a world like PUBG would doubtless dismantle all the palpable tension it works so hard to convey.

The “best” games are as subjective and varied as the players they delight (which is why Outfox supports so many), and there’s more than enough room at the top for players to enjoy each game for their individuality without dethroning anyone in the process.