Earlier this year, Fortnite Battle Royale exploded in popularity as gamers across the world starting playing the “game of games”.
The popular battle royale style game, where 100 people compete to win, is available to play on Xbox, PlayStation, PC, mobile and now on Nintendo Switch.
After launching just one year ago, the game now has 125 million players.
But, why is it so popular? And importantly, why has it become so controversial?
Fortnite Battle Royale: what you need to know
Fortnite was initially revealed back in 2011 and got its actual release date in July 2017. That was a six-year wait for expectant gamers who wanted to try out the brand new game.
Set in contemporary Earth, 98 per cent of the world’s population has disappeared with zombie-esque creatures rising up to take over.
Fortnite Battle Royale, a multiplayer version, sees players competing with up to 100 other gamers, either as individuals in four-man teams. They have to fight other players and avoid being killed to become the last man standing.
What’s interesting about Fortnite Battle Royale is it allows cross-platform gaming, so players using an Xbox One can compete against someone on a PC for instance.
It’s Fortnite Battle Royale, the multiplayer mode, that is available to play on mobile.
When will Fornite Battle Royale be available on Android?
iPhone or iPad gamers have been able to play Fornite on mobile since earlier this year.
However, Android gamers are still waiting for their mobile version.
There were rumours that Epic would reveal Fortnite Android at E3, the big gaming expo in LA.
However, all we know so far is that Fortnite on Android is coming this summer.
Drake loves Fortnite
One of the world’s biggest musicians, Drake, recently demonstrated his love for Fortnite Battle Royale by playing alongside gamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins on the gaming streaming platform, Twitch.
As of last night, the stream of the two games had nearly 600,000 concurrent viewers.
The all-time Twitch record is over 1.1 million concurrent viewers.
Whilst Drake and Ninja were playing on PlayStation and PC respectively and not mobile, the Twitch stream has served to hype up Fortnite Battle Royale ahead of its mobile release.
Why is Fortnite so controversial?
Due to the huge gameplay behind Fortnite Battle Royale, with up to 100 players in a single round, it means that people have become prone to developing cheating software that will allow them to win against other gamers.
Fortnite’s parent company, Epic, has taken to banning cheaters, as well as suing the developers of the software and the people that are using it. In one instance, Epic has launched a lawsuit against a 14-year-old in North Carolina.
As well, recently Fortnite players have taken to social media to say their accounts have been hijacked by malicious hackers. Gamers have seen fraudulent payments made by hackers using the payment details saved on their Fortnite accounts.
Epic said in a statement that it was aware of the continuing attacks. “Any players who believe their account has been compromised should reach out to our player support immediately,” said the company.
Fortnite and gaming addiction
Parents across the globe have been speaking out about the affects of gaming addiction when it comes to Fortnite.
One primary school pupil became so addicted to the game, she is now receiving therapy treatment.
In addition, Peter Andre said he actually snapped his son’s PlayStation cable to stop him playing Fortnite. Andre said it was accident that the cable snapped, but it did stop his son playing the game for three weeks.
However, it’s important not to demonise games such as Fortnite. A doctoral researcher of serious games at Glasgow Caledonian University, Andrew Reid, said using the term “addictive” stigmaises regular consumers of video games.
Calling players “addicts” is a way to “stigmatise the medium as an evil to our society, despite a growing portfolio of video games and research that reinforce the positive characteristics of play and interactivity, Reid told the BBC.
Reid did advise parents to try to encourage children to play in moderation.
“I’d also suggest playing Fortnite yourself to understand why children might be interested in it – so that you can speak the same language and get on the same wavelength,” he added.