Unless you’ve been living in a rock these past few months, you’d know all about the PUBG vs Fortnite debate. You would probably also know that Epic’s take on the Battle Royale genre is currently winning, at least, that’s what the stats are currently saying. Today, more are playing Fortnite than any other shooter, including Call of Duty, CS:GO, Battlefield, Destiny, and yes, even PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
But, why and how exactly did this happen? More importantly, how did Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds go from spawning a new genre to playing second fiddle to Fortnite, who is facing an imminent mobile release that’s set to even further widen the gap in the popularity between both games?
The Perfect Opportunity
Where other developers had to scramble and find a way to try and compete with PUBG’s rise in popularity, Epic need not look far to position themselves as the genre-spawning game’s closest competition. After all, PUBG was developed using their own engine, Unreal. Not to mention they already had Fortnite lined up anyway. This pretty much meant that all Epic had to do was take Fortnite’s shooting controls and the game’s unique building mechanics, add in one huge map for players to kill each other in, and voila, they had their very own Battle Royale game.
That’s exactly what they did, and it worked. Massively.
The Building Mechanic Sets It Apart
Epic took the risk when they created a building/defense title with the original Fortnite base game. It didn’t exactly work. Or at least, it wasn’t that big of a success, especially compared to Fortnite: Battle Royale right now. However, the base building mechanics that was already set in place made it possible for Epic Games to create something that’s totally unique to the new game genre.
Had Fortnite: Battle Royale not had a building mechanic, we probably won’t even be talking about it right now. Heck, there wouldn’t be a PUBG vs Fortnite debate. That’s how crucial the often totally bonkers building mechanic is to the game’s success.
In theory, mixing shooters with Minecraft-style building mechanics shouldn’t have worked, but the game’s cartoony aesthetic somehow makes watching people run around shooting at each other while haphazardly trying to construct anything that they can imagine at that particular moment just to survive and win a lot more enjoyable than it should probably be.
No One Else Comes Close
The reason why we have a PUBG vs Fortnite debate is that these two games are the creme of the crop of their genre because, well, they’re the only competitive Battle Royale right now. Literally, no one else comes close. And, is that really any surprise? No one could’ve predicted just how big the genre would become. The genre hadn’t even existed until PUBG came along, which meant that by the time developers realized that they could cash in on the trend, it was already too late!
It’s safe to assume that we’ll still more and more developers to try and add a Battle Royale component to their games, or even come up with their own take on the Battle Royale genre if only to try to cash in on the latest trend, but if things keep up like this, the PUBG vs Fortnite debate could easily become just as popular and as divisive as Dota 2 vs League of Legends.
It’s an Inside Job
Epic Games have a distinct advantage over the developers of PUBG in this regard. Although both were developed using the same engine, Fortnite enjoys faster support, patches and additions simply because Epic Games are the brains behind the engine that both games are using. Fortnite was already a relatively easy game to work with, especially compared to PUBG, and the fact that Epic was the brains behind the project meant that Fortnite’s development was going to be so much faster.
Did you encounter a bug in Fortnite? Report it! There’s a huge chance that Epic Games will have a patch ready to fix it, as well as multitudes of others, in a day or two. This is a huge contrast to other online shooters and online games in general that would often take weeks if not months to fix even the most minor of bugs.
The speed that which Epic Games delivers content and development is perhaps the biggest driving factor behind the success of Fortnite.
It’s the Perfect Streaming Game
PUBG was fun to watch on stream, but Fortnite takes fun to a whole other level. In addition to watching the top-tier players and streamers pull off one trick shot after another, the game’s building mechanics allowed for far more entertaining than just watching two players circle each other until someone dies. It also certainly didn’t hurt that Twitch is giving away Prime Loot, which only got even more people interesting to watch the game if they’re not busy playing.
It’s a Non-Violent Shooter
Yes, we know it’s an oxymoron, but hear us out first.
The cartoony nature of the game makes it less likely that parents of younger gamers will have problems playing Fortnite. Especially when compared to a game like PUBG, which features more blood and realistic graphics. Yes, players are still technically shooting with weapons. However, the game is devoid of what’s often associated with violence in video games. In fact, Fortnite is perhaps the closest thing we have on the market that’s a popular non-violent shooter. Seriously, how could a parent think of Fortnite violent when all they see is people running around in space suits hacking at each other with pickaxes?
Similar to how Overwatch has tapped the younger audience, Fortnite too has embraced younger gamers, which has only helped make it gain even more success.
There’s More Than One Way To Enjoy
Because matches are short and fast, it’s easy to drop in and out as often as you’d like throughout the game. But hey, that doesn’t exactly give Fortnite a point in the PUBG vs Fortnite debate because PUBG is just the same now, does it? Well, one thing that separates Fortnite is that killing other players isn’t the only way to win in the game. You might even end up making it all the way to the very end just by hacking away with your pickaxe and building stuff like you were literally playing a shooter version of Minecraft. That doesn’t happen in PUBG. At best, you can camp it out and wait for the others to kill each other until there’s only a few or two of you left, but it always ends up being a firefight.
Fortnite also has a relatively low skill cap with matches that are easy to start, so players can jump in, die, and then jump into another match again with relative ease. And even if you don’t win, you’ll still feel pretty good knowing that you were able to troll someone people because you built a hut over them. Besides, you don’t get so bummed out when losing in a Battle Royale because you’re supposed to lose more than you win.
In this aspect of the PUBG vs Fortnite debate, both games feel pretty even. Although I’d still give Fortnite the slight edge because of how there are so much more ways to enjoy the game than just killing other players.
It’s Free To Play
Other than Epic Games’ constant updates to the game, this is perhaps where the PUBG vs Fortnite debate ends with Fortnite winning by a landslide. Yes, PUBG is a good game, and yes, it’s arguably worth every penny. But why spend more when you can get a game that’s just as good for free? Sure, there’s the $10 season-long battle pass available, but the rewards more than makeup for the cost, especially if you play the game frequently. And there’s no loot box system as well, which means players can just buy the cosmetics they want outright.
In an industry exploited often by greedy loot box randomization mechanics, Fortnite’s microtransaction system feels like a breath of fresh air, which only serves to help fuel the game’s success.
Not a single one of the reasons stated above is more important than the others. They all work in conjunction to give Epic Games a legitimate shot at ending the PUBG vs Fortnite debate with their Battle Royale coming out on top. Had Epic Games not excelled in just one or two of the areas mentioned above, we won’t even be talking about Fortnite at all.
PUBG may have spawned the entire genre, but Fortnite’s appeal feels transcendent and the game is just getting started.
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What’s your take on the PUBG vs Fortnite debate? Do you think Fortnite has successfully eclipsed PUBG and is the better game of the two? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.