How Fortnite Eclipsed PUBG as the Biggest Gaming Phenomenon

How Fortnite Eclipsed PUBG as the Biggest Gaming Phenomenon
credit//Epic Games

On the surface, both PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite are rather similar games. Both are battle royale multiplayer machines that drop players off on a deserted island in groups of 100 so they can take eachother out in insane free-for-all style. There are some key differences – you jump out of a plane in PUBG, the map of PUBG is far larger, Fortnite's vehicles are not drivable, Fortnite: Battle Royale is not the only version of Epic's game available (there is a Save the World mode) and you can build walls, ramps, buildings, and forts in Fortnite. Of course, there are also cosmetic differences – Bluehole went with a more photorealistic design for their game, while Epic went with a much more cartoon-inspired vibe that was, actually, inspired by several animated classics like PIXAR's The Incredibles.

Despite their similarities and differences, you'd think both battle royale games would do about equally in terms of popularity. If anything, PUBG should have the edge thanks to its earlier start. Fortnite added a free battle royale mode late in development – in fact, they built it in just two months and its undergone far more sweeping balance changes tha

n Battlegrounds. Usually, that's not a good thing. Fortnite also locked some of their content behind a paywall. Hell, Bluehole even tried to sue Epic Games over the similarities of their games. If anything, Fortnite should be struggling to keep an audience. And instead, it has become a behemoth of a game that nothing really comes close to touching when it comes to concurrent playercounts and stream hours. PUBG's large swath of cheaters and stream stalkers definitely contributed to its fall in the rankings, but not even that can account of Fortnite's overwhelming domination of the game market.

Fortnite's success is a fascinating case of how sometimes, even when everything goes wrong, if a game resonates with gamers, it can be incredibly successful. For reasons ephemeral and not, Fortnite is the game resonating with players on four separate platforms (PC, Xbox One, PS4, and iOS) with a fifth, and possibly sixth, platform on the way. I've spent more hours typing about Fortnite than I have just about any other game, and yes, that includes my favorite MMORPG. I've been tracking all the conspiracy theories about the Tilted Towers comet and now the meteor shower, waiting to see if I'm right – all on my own time. Because no matter how much I try, I just can't escape Fortnite. I moonlight as a SCUBA instructor, and once people there find out I write about games they immediately bring up Fortnite. Either the fact that they play it, that someone else they know plays it, or that they hear it's the biggest game out right now. We are almost at the point of it being a cultural phenomenon. And I am so here for that, as, statistically, are all of you.

So, in related Fortnite vs PUBG news, there's this cute fan film you should check out. If you haven't already.

About Madeline Ricchiuto

Madeline Ricchiuto is a gamer, comics enthusiast, bad horror movie connoisseur, writer and generally sarcastic human. She also really likes cats and is now Head Games Writer at Bleeding Cool.