If you saw our show when we pitted these two games against each other, you’ll know they have both taken the world by storm in quite a short amount of time. If you are not familiar with the games, we can tell you that the basic concept is a kind of every man for himself, or fight to the death scenario, in which you are dropped off in a foreign land and have to use your skills to navigate this new world and exterminate anything that gets in your way.
The latest reports tell us that Fortnite now has over 45 million users and more than 3 million concurrent players, with PUBG not far behind. But why are these games so popular? That’s what we’ll find out today, in this episode of the Infographics Show, Why Are Fortnite Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds So Popular Compared to Other Types of Games?
So, how do we judge popularity? In terms of the games’ strategy, they are both quite similar. The biggest differences are in the worlds you inhabit, the maps you navigate, and the graphics. So, when we are talking about popularity, we could say that these games are attractive for many of the same reasons, but at the same time different reasons. Before we look at what the players say, let’s take a look at what the media says.
First of all, most gaming experts – and even the creator of PUBG – say the inspiration behind these games was the Japanese movie “Battle Royale”. That makes sense, of course. You could also say that Hunger Games was also a massive inspiration.
As one gamer writes on Medium, the immediate appeal is being dropped off in a foreign land and having to survive on your wits while collecting things which will help you survive. Psychologically, this appeals to most of us, and the fact that it’s you playing along with other human beings and not only artificial enemies makes such a scenario way more emotional. According to the same writer, another big appeal, at least with PUBG, is that if you are clever enough, you can even come in the top ten without getting into a fight. The same writer also talked about how PUBG didn’t use traditional marketing, but that’s not something we’ll get into today.
What’s more interesting is what Rolling Stone said about PUBG, when discussing its nomination for game of the year. The magazine wrote that PUBG was “the dam that broke open a genre that’s been building for years.” People had been waiting for this genre…the massive multiplayer fight to the death scenario was the game that had to come, and while PUBG cracked it open, Fortnite put some cherries on the cake and made it more user-friendly.
Rolling Stone says that these games didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel; fighting to the death is not a concept that was just pulled out of thin air. But, says the writer, the maps were more adventurous than anything seen before; you had to be more intuitive when playing, and the writer even says that the boredom one might feel when crossing barren land with nothing in sight (with PUBG at least) lends to the game’s attraction. That waiting, the intensity, the walk in the desert – could we call that biblical – makes the victory, if it should come, all the more gratifying. Nothing is predictable, and the journey is a difficult one; you have to overcome enormous hurdles, and that’s why players are so addicted. That’s according to one aficionado anyway.
Other media say much the same, adding that beating 99 players gives you great bragging rights. This has become an “obsession” writes Polygon, overtaking what Minecraft did way back when. “Dropping in with 99 other players, either alone or squadding up with your buddies, emerging victorious is an achievement,” writes Windows Central. The same writer says that another big pull is that alone in this foreign land, it is almost guaranteed that something hilarious will happen to you. He says, “And that’s why I keep going back. Because for all the rage over being sniped from an unknown spot, something else will happen that’s a true “WTF” moment that’ll have me laughing my head off.”
But what about Fortnite? “It’s trending higher than Trump,” writes one tech website about Fortnite Battle Royale. One of the biggest draws is of course that it’s free, but that’s not to undermine how great the game is. It’s more colourful and playful than PUBG, so that’s a draw for people who want out of the darkness that PUBG might offer. If you are terrible and die quickly, it’s easy enough to just start again. You can also play on many platforms. It’s this accessibility that is partly the reason why Fortnite has leap-frogged PUBG in terms of players.
But is that it?
Well, another critic says the action is just more fun, making the gameplay quite stream-worthy. The cartoon-like violence is not only very playable, but also very watchable. In fact, Newsweek talks about a streamer called Ninja, whose almost 4 million YouTube fans like nothing more than to see him play this visually entertaining game. “It’s highly addictive, fun to play, and adds new building mechanics to a playful exterior that’s fun for casuals and pros,” writes Newsweek, adding that if you die in one match, then just enter another. The hours go by and you realize it’s already 3 am. In fact, most media seem to say the same thing, it’s just more entertaining and fun than PUBG, but keeps the same kind of exhilarating format.
Perhaps more serious players prefer PUBG?
The website PCGames thinks so, writing, “Compare it to its biggest rival, PUBG, and Fortnite is bright, colourful, and should be much more appealing to someone who doesn’t play many games.” The conclusion? If you are serious and don’t mind spending a lot of time alone, maybe PUBG is better, but if you want more in your face fun, then Fortnite wins. Oh, and Forbes adds to the Fortnite pros saying that it is much less buggy, not full of cheats mostly from China, and keeps offering new content – more so than PUBG.
But what do the players think?
When the question was asked on Quora, why these games are so popular, people said pretty much the same as the media say: that the idea of facing off against 99 players is just addictive as hell. One person writes, “The idea of one death and you’re out leads to a much more strategic style of gameplay. The achievement of winning is enough to spur most people to come back.”
When the question was asked on Reddit, why these games are so popular, some said they like that you don’t need a very powerful computer to play these games, especially Fortnite. Other players talked about the intensity of the games, especially as you get down to the last few players, while PUBG fans said that the intensity is far more exhilarating in their game than the cartoonish Fortnite.
There’s also the fact that all the matches can throw up many different surprises, making the games never feel old. Another poster on Reddit said one of the most addictive aspects is acquiring a certain rank within the game, and so the ego gets very involved as you try to outrank friends and strangers. On the same thread, many users said these games will soon lose their appeal and reach a critical mass.
So, why do you think these games are so popular? Can you see them going out of style any time soon? Let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video called Fortnite vs PubG – Which Battle Royale is the best?! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!