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The student news site of Freehold Township High School

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The Resurgence of Fortnite Battle Royale

Why is everyone back on the island?
The+Resurgence+of+Fortnite+Battle+Royale

Everyone has heard of Fortnite. Whether you are an OG player from the days of Chapter 1, or a newly introduced player from Chapter 5. Recently though, this game which has often been called “dead” is more alive than ever. With the release of Fortnite Chapter 4: Season OG and Fortnite Chapter 5, Fortnite has been hitting crazy numbers, and is more involved in all of our lives than ever before.

To truly understand how we returned to Athena (Fortnite Chapter 1 Island) in Fortnite OG, we need to understand what is happening with Fortnite. Over the past few years, we have been through 3 different islands in Fortnite Chapter 2, 3, and 4. Over this period, Fortnite’s popularity has significantly declined, although it remained one of the biggest games in the world the whole time.

So what has happened to this game? To begin, we need to go back to 2019. The sun was shining, a certain pandemic was still months away from hitting, and Fortnite was on the top of the world. However, on October 13, everything changed. Fortnite said goodbye to the Chapter 1 map in the Season X event, “The End”. This event changed the gaming landscape forever, leaving Fortnite players staring at a black hole for two days, until the start of Fortnite Chapter 2. The game was exploding in popularity, especially with one of the greatest seasons of all time (according to Fortnite Fans Worldwide), Chapter 2 Season 2, launching in the midst of the pandemic. However, shortly after this, you probably stopped hearing about the game. What happened?

Although Chapter 2 is widely regarded as one of, if not the greatest Fortnite Chapter, it became dry towards the end. Bad seasons coupled with worldwide fame decreasing started a perfect storm for the “death” of the game. Chapter 3 was incredible, but ended on an extremely sour note with the terribly received “Fracture” live event, causing no other events to occur for a year. At the end of Chapter 4, however, Epic Games knew something had to change, and there was one trick up their sleeves that they had never pulled out. This trick was the OG map, and Epic themselves weren’t prepared for what would happen.

On November 3rd, 2023, Fortnite once again became the worldwide phenomenon of the past with the release of Fortnite OG (Chapter 4: Season OG). Fortnite immediately started blowing up records. Perhaps the craziest fact for me is that Fortnite OG had higher numbers than OG Fortnite, with 44.7 million players online at the same time, the biggest day in the history of the game.

But wait, HOW? Wasn’t the OG map destroyed during “The End”? Yes, it was. However, (opens Fortnite Lore Book), it’s complicated. Fortnite has one of the most complex stories in all of gaming, rivaling the king of confusing lore, Five Nights at Freddy’s. Epic Games has woven a story of madness and characters that had to connect to Fortnite OG, and they did just that. In simplest terms, Epic utilized the ultimate “Deus EX Machina”, Time Travel. 

The main characters of the Fortnite Storyline were able to utilize time travel to travel back to the OG map, but with slight differences. Not all of the same map changes that occurred in 2019 were still present. This was due to us being in an altered timeline, but the community did not take this well. Some were very upset with the lack of famous locations from the past. However, this did not stop the game’s fire. The “Big Bang Event” occurred in December of 2023, and launched Fortnite into its new age, destroying the beloved Chapter 1 map once more. The Big Bang event launched Fortnite Chapter 5, our current chapter. It also released new game modes as part of Epic’s Metaverse initiative, with Rocket Racing, LEGO Fortnite, and Fortnite Festival all releasing. Now, in April, Chapter 5 Season 1 has come and gone. In Chapter 5 Season 2, things are ramping up once again. Midas, a beloved character from the storyline, is back on the island. We are now facing the powers of Greek Gods such as Zeus, Aphrodite, Hades, Poseidon, and many others.

But how does this all connect? From the days of OG Fortnite to Fortnite OG, Chapter 5, and beyond, how is Fortnite still on top? It seems, from the looks of the player count, Fortnite can never truly die. Since the beginning, Fortnite has been doing things no other game would. It revitalized the Battle Royale genre, and now consists of three entirely different games inside of itself. It has the most creatively designed live events (which was a first for gaming as a whole), and it seems like it’s going nowhere. Fortnite was the biggest game in the world in 2017 and 2018, but then quickly became “unpopular”. It was embarrassing to talk about, and there’s no hiding it. But now, it seems Fortnite is coming back for its crown. From Fortnite OG to Chapter 5, Fortnite seems to be ramping up to be with us for a long, long time.

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