Fortnite’s Declining Player Base – Has Fortnite Gotten Boring?
At the moment, Fortnite is facing declining player numbers and an overall decline in interest. Accusations that Fortnite is dying are nothing new, but it would be hard to argue that it isn’t getting smaller. Part of that might be because Fortnite beginning to feel a little stale. With the competitive side of the game now seemingly taking precedence over the main experience, has Fortnite gotten boring?
Chapter 2 of Fortnite kicked off with an event that catapulted Fortnite to the biggest topic in the world. That faded fast though. So far, Chapter 2 has been characterized by long endless seasons and an increasingly stagnant loot pool. The regular updates have largely been consigned to the past. While the most recent season has seen an improvement, there isn’t anywhere near the scale of new content as there used to be.
So is anything to blame for Fortnite getting stale? It comes down to the different audiences that Fortnite has to cater to.
It might be the case that Fortnite isn’t losing players because it has gotten boring, but Fortnite is heading in a new direction to cater to the core players who are still around.
Fortnite’s Two Audiences
Epic Games have made a big push to make Fortnite into a legitimate competitive game. They initially poured a lot of cash into the game.
Since the first World Cup, Fortnite Esports has featured constant tournaments, and the competitive crowd for the game isn’t just the best Fortnite players. There are enough smaller tournaments to keep a lot of players engaged and trying to improve. This crowd prefers things stable and new content to not upset the existing balance. Not necessarily preferring Fortnite to be boring, but more measured.
Keeping the game fair is difficult when there’s a fair amount of RNG involved. Prior to Chapter 2, Epic was constantly throwing in overpowered mechanics and items in the name of giving every player the chance to win. This was understandably frustrating for those playing it competitively.
But, Fortnite has another audience though. The casual crowd, likes to play Fortnite in a more relaxed manner. The complete chaos of drops and OP items are not putting them off, since they don’t play every match as sweaty as possible.
The wedge between the two player bases reached a climax with the addition of mechs. Despite near-constant nerfs and adjustments, mechs just couldn’t co-exist with the player base who valued high skill mechanics. On the other hand, mechs were largely praised by the casual players.
As of late, Epic Games are refraining from releasing these big changes and mechanics to the game. With the recent decline in numbers; Is the absence of a lot of wild and weird items that is making Fortnite boring?
Is the Competitive Side of the Game to Blame for Fortnite Getting Boring?
The competitive side of a game needs a more stable loot pool and metagame if it is to survive. Even without the constant updates, content creators and players frequently rail against anything new added to the game. What’s new is weird and scary to them. Partially this is down to the way videos or stream clips need to be structured to get clicks, but part is down to the unknown throwing a wrench into their high-skill game plans.
It is clear that in Chapter 2 more care has been taken for the balance of the game. Competitive players are finally being looked after. That isn’t a bad thing, and it can co-exist with a more exciting loot pool. The current season has featured a massive influx of superpower items. It is hard to argue that these are stale. The loot is also at its most interesting in a long time, with Shockwaves and Boogie Bombs making high profile returns.
This can be a lot of fun for casual play, but the game, in general, is now catering more to those skilled players or players willing to spend time trying to improve. That does seem to be a deliberate decision though, and it might have more to do with a declining player base than anything else.
Is Fortnite Boring Because of its Declining Player Base?
There’s an argument to be made that Fortnite doesn’t have a declining player base because it’s boring, but that things are the other way around. Fortnite couldn’t remain the most popular game in the world forever. Nothing can. Over time, things aren’t as fresh and exciting as they used to be. Fall Guys and then Among Us have been huge vial hits this year, and their popularity won’t last forever either.
With declining player numbers, Epic could continue to chase the novelty crowds or look at the players still there. Fortnite has an active community focused on playing the game in a more skilled way. Even those who don’t enjoy sweating and building their way through games wouldn’t be playing unless they were willing to try and play at a baseline level of skill.
These are now Fortnite’s core player base. It makes sense to begin to cater to them more. Stable loot pools and mechanics designed to reward skill make the game a lot more fun for its most dedicated players to play. While it can feel stale at times, Epic has managed to strike a decent balance this Season. Fortnite might not be the biggest thing in the world anymore, but its new direction has a large fan base that appreciates how the game has progressed.