I remember sitting in my hotel room back in September 2017, browsing through Youtube. Some guy posted a video named "PUBG with Destruction: Fortnite" or something like that. I clicked on the video, and saw a simple, seemingly boring cartoonish game. Now, let's skip a few days, and it turned from a nearly unknown game to probably the most popular game of 2017 and 2018. So what caused it to blow up so quickly?
In my opinion, what makes Battle Royale games popular is how well they mix strategy and luck. You can have the best equipment in the game, but you can still be killed by a good player with bad equipment. Another factor is how every round feels like a separate story: and you always want to recount that story to someone, whether you won or not.
The game offers a lot of variety in both items and the map. Although the map is the same, several locations change with each new seasons, and even that is unnecessary to make the map very varied. There are open fields, (somewhat) dense cities, mountains, canyons and mines. Every time you play, the game is different, even if you always land into the exact same house.
Another reason why the game blew up is because it is FREE. While PUBG costs tens of dollars, you can enjoy Fortnite without spending a cent. All of the items that cost real money do not give you any in-game advantage, they just customize your character and give you bragging rights.
Epic Games made a genius move by hopping onto the BR train. They investigated PUBG, saw what made it popular, and proceeded to modify their game so that it could be a Battle Royale. No matter what you say, you have to admit: Fortnite is a masterfully crafted game.
Thanks for coming to my TED talk.