On the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), Fortnite is rated “T” for Teen.
This rating does a couple key things for the game that wouldn’t be possible if the game was rated “M” for Mature.
First, let’s look at the conscious decisions that led to this rating.
You will notice in Fortnite that the word “kill” never appears. When a player is taken down, they are “eliminated.” The count for eliminations is represented with the crosshair symbol. Epic was careful to not have players being killed in the game, just having them be eliminated is a small thing but goes a long way in the game’s rating.
Fantasy Art Style
Fortnite isn’t based in a fantasy world like Overwatch or League of Legends, but it also isn’t gritty and realistic like a CS:GO or Call of Duty. It exists in a sweet spot of being distinctly human but also not being set in a true war scenario.
Fortnite is considered a “blue blood” game – along with Overwatch – while CS:GO and Call of Duty are considered “red blood.” It’s no coincidence that both Overwatch and Fortnite have “T” ratings while the war simulations both have “M.”
It’s not that serious
While the game is definitely serious on Twitch, in the player base, and in the competitive prize pool, Epic has done well to keep the game light. Items like the grappler (literally a plunger) and boogie bomb add a layer of silliness among the rocket launchers and shotguns of the game.
In game events like Kevin the purple cube again keep the game cemented in the fantasy realm. All of these things combine to keep the game’s rating down in the eyes of the ESRB.
So what does the T rating bring to Fortnite?
Some games relish in their M rating. It’s a point of pride for any violent game. Just like a horror movie that is rated PG-13 just feels a little off, that is also true of many video games.
For Fortnite, they made a strategic choice and it is paying off in spades.
No barrier to entry
As everyone knows, Fortnite is free-to-play. That takes out one of the main barriers that prevent people from playing the game. Another main barrier is parents. Many have child locks on game consoles that require a password when someone tries to download a game.
Often those passwords are set for any game rated M, by keeping the game at a T rating Fortnite kept their player base incredibly wide as third graders picked up the game alongside college students. Nobody chose not to play Fortnite because of the rating, but many kids were able to pick up the game for the first time because it had that immediate stamp of parental approval.
Corporate sponsors are all in
Just today Ninja announced he is appearing a Super Bowl ad alongside football legends as part of Fortnite’s ongoing partnership with the NFL. Previously Ninja has also appeared on national ads for Samsung and partnered with companies like Great Clips.
For the game itself, Fortnite partnered with Marvel for the Thanos activation back in May of 2018. Speaking of places focused on ratings, The Avengers is rated PG-13. Like Epic, that is Marvel making a conscious decision. If Fortnite is rated Mature, that partnership may never come about.
Many companies use that red blood vs. blue blood as the line in the sand that their brand cannot cross when placing sponsorship money on gaming/esports.
By keeping their rating down, Epic was able to build the most successful video game title both in the American player base and in mainstream corporate sponsors.
Fortnite leaks point to underwater swimming coming in Season 3
Swimming underwater may be a permanent feature coming to Fortnite Season 3.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leaked Fortnite v12.61 update skins and cosmetic items
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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