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Battle Royale

Is Fortnite Battle Royale closer to a social platform than a video game?

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When media from outside of the gaming world writes about video games, the results are often mixed.

Usually there is some lapse in knowledge about a game or the ecosystem surrounding it.

Over the last year, Fortnite Battle Royale has been the biggest culprit. The game has forced people to strap in and pay attention while big sites want the Google traffic of one of the most searched words on the web.

Side note, have you wondered why we have started writing Fortnite Battle Royale instead of just Fortnite? It is because so many sites are writing about the game that Google is punishing repeated uses of the word in articles.

This obviously makes it difficult for a Fortnite Battle Royale site as we get punished in the rankings for writing the name of the game the site is dedicated towards.

Anyways, another mainstream article came out today. This one was from the advertising/marketing site AdAge. They declare that “Fortnite is the social media platform for GenZ.

Here’s a quote from the article: “Fortnite is the new Facebook in some ways,” says Henry Cowling, creative managing director at MediaMonks, a digital production company. “Millennials and Gen Z are much more used to living on platforms like Fortnite.”

Personally, I disagree. The social platforms analogous to Facebook for the Gen Z audience are Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, Reddit, Snapchat and Twitter. There is no shortage of social platforms competing for the attention of Gen Z and all of those platforms are more consistently used throughout the general audience.

The article goes on to mention how brands have found a home on the game. Touching on the NFL, Marshmello concert, Avengers and John Wick.

Fortnite NFL Super Bowl Skins
Via Epic Games

Here’s a quote in the article from Jon Penn the CEO of NRG (not related to the esports organization): “people are taking risks and doing it in a safe way, particularly those who are 10-to-17-years-old.” For instance, he says “someone who wouldn’t try on a pair of Air Jordan’s in real life, for example, is more likely to with their avatar while playing Fortnite,” he says.

I guess that may be true? It would be interesting to see the data behind that. I figured the people most attracted to the Jordan skin were already sneakerheads.

Another ad exec chimes in later: “Virtual Jordan’s are the new social currency for Gen Z.”

Can it really be a currency if theres only one shoe and you either have it or you don’t? People absolutely love collecting skins but that’s not exactly a new phenomenon unique to Fortnite.

But the craziest part of the article to me is that they are talking about Fortnite as a social platform, and not once do they mention duos or squads. Here’s how the writer describes “Fortnite 101”

“100 players are dropped into an area and the last person standing wins,” he writes. “Winners obtain unique items called “skins,” allowing the player to equip their avatar with different gear, which in some cases can include branded apparel; skins can also be purchased with actual money, too.”

The problems with this should stand out immediately. Glossing over the other modes is no big deal, but skins aren’t awarded with wins except for gliders. This also makes it seem like skins aren’t usually purchased by money when that is how the whole system works.

But again, when talking about Fortnite it is important to do your homework. Grinding solo games is about as far from a social experience in a multiplayer video game as you can get. Talking with friends in a squad game is close, but that doesn’t feel like a unique Fortnite Battle Royale experience compared to just video games in general.

Honestly, I mostly wanted to write this article to get our readers thoughts. I clearly disagree, but how about you? Do you see Fortnite Battle Royale as a social platform like “Gen Z’s Facebook?”

Leak

Fortnite leaks point to underwater swimming coming in Season 3

Swimming underwater may be a permanent feature coming to Fortnite Season 3.

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Early leaks of underwater swimming in Fortnite came to the game files several patches ago. Naturally, this led to the assumption that we’d be able to dive underwater in future Fortnite seasons.

These hopes were dashed when the Astronomical event happened. We swam underwater during this event, and most fans assumed that this would be the bulk of our undersea travel.

A couple of updates later, in v12.61, we saw the ability to swim underwater updated, yet again. When you combine this with the unconfirmed leaks covering Season 3, all signs are pointing to the ability to swim underwater in the next Fortnite Season.

Several data miners covered the new strings in the game files. After a bit of digging, they came up with the animation, itself.

As you can see from FortTory’s tweet, this animation is different from the normal swimming animation. You can dive, swim, and float in place while underwater.

There are still a ton of questions to be answered on this front. Will we able to swim underwater indefinitely or will we have an oxygen meter? Will this only be allowed on certain areas of the map? Does this mean we’re getting an underwater POI?

Underwater swimming has always been a difficult concept in gaming. Unfortunately, it could lead to a host of bugs and issues if there are some blind spots in development. Let’s hope for the best, though, and trust Epic to get it right.

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Patch Notes

Fortnite v12.61 patch notes: aim assist changes, bug fixes & more

Take a look at everything that changed in the Fortnite v12.61 patch notes.

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The Fortnite v12.61 content update released this morning, which marks the final update of Fortnite Season 2. It was a small patch and one that was largely geared toward preparing the game for the rumored Doomsday event.

Most of the interesting parts of v12.61 came in the form of leaks, which we’ll cover in some separate articles. There were a few above-board changes, though. We’ll delve into them here.

Aim assist changes

The most noteworthy change was to controller aim assist on all platforms. This one is tricky since we need to rely on community reporting to tell exactly what’s different.

Early reports had it that close-range aim assist was lowered by 20%, mid-range aim assist was lowered a bit, and long-range aim assist was buffed. Our early testing shows very little difference from the old system, however. Casual players probably won’t notice a difference, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Fortnite Mobile Controller Support
Via Epic Games

Storm the Agency Challenges

Storm the Agency will, almost certainly, be the last batch of challenges before Season 3. We aren’t getting any Overtime Challenges, so these will have to do.

The new challenge set has not been released at the time of writing but should be available later today or this week. They may be released as late as Thursday, ahead of the Doomsday event. We’ll cover the challenge tutorial in a separate guide.

Storm Circles

Epic appear to have changed storm circles in the v12.61 update, as well – at least in public matches. The first phase of the storm closes much more quickly – but on a larger circle. The circle then gets much smaller, causing some players to have to rotate, quite quickly.

The circles aren’t perfect, either. Just take a look at this tweet from broadcaster AussieAntics. We’ll have to wait and see how this shakes out.

Bug Fixes

There weren’t too many bug fixes in this patch. The biggest issue that was addressed was the inability to refund the Dragacorn Glider for some players. Here’s everything that was fixed in v12.61:

  • Numbers not changing on sports-themed Outfits
  • Unable to refund Dragacorn Glider
  • iOS players hitching at high rate

We’ll update this post with any additional changes that surface as more players get their hands on the new patch. This was a small one, though, and largely focused on adding the Doomsday Device to the game.

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Leak

Leaked Fortnite v12.61 update skins and cosmetic items

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Epic Games

Fortnite update v12.61 has arrived, and while Epic Games didn’t add many new skins or cosmetic items to the game, data miners and leakers have been sifting through the files and given us a look at what’s to come before the end of Chapter 2, Season 2.

Season 2 is rapidly coming to its conclusion, with the highly anticipated Doomsday event set to rock the game to its foundations as Epic Games moves to Season 3.

With the current season drawing to a close, the game’s developers have released the v12.61 Update on May 26 which includes a number of leaks as to what the event will entail.

For those who are looking a new skin or some new dances moves, though, Epic have added some new additions to the files which will be released over the next week or so.

Cyclo Doomsday skin and Windshear Cloak

There’s only one new skin in the game this week, but it appears to have major links to the end of Season 2, with the mysterious and imposing skin added to the files under the name “Hurricane,” prompting many to wonder if he is set to unleash the natural disaster onto the island.

On top of that, there is also a brand-new cloak that goes with Cyclo Doomsday, which appears to have been battered by winds and torn in places at the bottom. You can view the skin and back bling below courtesy of @Lucas7yoshi.

Drake’s Toosie Slide comes to Fortnite

Definitely the most surprising addition to the game, global megastar Drake has made his first appearance in Fortnite, with a brand-new emote appearing in-game based on a dance from the music video for his latest single, Toosie Slide.

The track debuted on April 3, and was then eventually released as part of his new mixtape Dark Lane Demo Tapes. It immediately became a hit on TikTok, with creators dancing along to the instructions featured in the song, and now Fortnite players can do the same. You can watch the Toosie Slide emote in action below, thanks to @HYPEX.

On top of that, Epic have actually licensed the song, so when you’re sliding in front of your downed enemies, they’ll hear October’s Very Own singing along.

Fortnite’s v12.61 patch is expected to be the final patch before Chapter 2, Season 3 kicks off, so it was always likely that new cosmetics would be in short supply this week. Data miners are still sifting through the files though, so if any more are discovered we’ll be sure to update this article.

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