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Over the last four decades, video games evolved in many ways — better graphics, animations, and gameplay. But with the growth of video games came a lot of negative stereotypes. One of which is the idea that video games, mainly shooting games, cause their players to become more violent.
One of those games is PUBG, which was released on March 23, 2017, which was one of the first Battle Royale games ever created. A battle royale game is an online multiplayer video game genre that blends the survival, scavenging, and exploration elements of a survival game with last-man-standing gameplay. For months PUBG’s popularity was off the charts. At the time, almost all my friends played that game everyday. It was the most famous battle royale game until September 26, 2017, when Fortnite officially released. In just two months, Fortnite passed PUBG in popularity. So many people left PUBG and transferred to Fortnite mainly because Fortnite was free while PUBG cost $30. Most people, especially teenagers, did not want to pay that much for PUBG, especially when they can get a similar game, Fortnite, for free.
The cost of Fortnite wasn’t the only reason that the game became so popular. Fortnite was the first game to introduce a Battle Pass, a type of monetization approach that provides additional content for a game, through a tiered system, rewarding the player with items by playing the game and completing specific challenges. This system that cost $10 gave players real goals, a sense of progress, and a clear path to the “skins” that they want. Creating this system allowed Fortnite to earn much money while making their players addicted to the game. Another huge reason that Fortnite got so big was their addition to the building mechanics. Fortnite was the first battle royale game that gave players the ability to not only shoot, but they can also build at the same time. The ability to build separated the game from all the other competitors. It allowed Fortnite to be on a league of its own.
Another critical difference between Fortnite and PUBG was the design of their guns. PUBG’s arsenal is pulled directly from real-world military arms. A big part of PUBG’s weapon system is managing attachments that offer various benefits. Scopes will help with aiming, grips reduce recoil, and the ever valuable flash hider can conceal your shots. As you scavenge, you’ll continuously be swapping attachments to create the best possible loadout for the situation while Fortnite focused on a more cartoonish style. Also, there are no weapon attachments, but the guns have rarities. This allowed Fortnite to be more suitable for kids 12 and under while PUBG catered to the older players 17 and up. Fortnite was also available on basically every gaming platform available, which contributed to its massive growth.
While millions of people love playing both games, the media still negatively portrays the games. Whenever Fortnite was mentioned on the news, the people only talked about how the game was addictive, and they also talked about how these shooting games ’cause violence.’ It was rare to find a news outlet that spoke about the growth of Fortnite. For example, in this article written by Dona Matthews, she talks about all the ‘Risks of Fortnite.’ Those ‘risks’ include aggressive behavior, emotional agitation, family conflict, and addiction to the game. The Fortnite developers found a way to deal with two of these ‘risks,’ the risk of addiction and family conflict. They decided to implement a new feature called Parental Controls. This allowed the parents to control what time their kids can play Fortnite. But that was not enough. The media was still against the game because ‘it causes violence.’ So many news outlets talk about that aspect, but none of them can ever prove that Fortnite or any kind shooting game can cause violence. While there are some correlations between shooting games and violence, there’s no evidence that shows that it’s true.
In the end, whether it’s Fortnite or PUBG, both games are incredible in their own way. Each game is unique even though they fall under the same genre of shooting games. Fortnite focused more on the younger generation while PUBG focused its attention on the older, more mature players. It’s almost impossible to say which game is better because they are so different, but it’s easy to take about what the two games achieved. In their way, each game allowed for the growth and development of not only shooting games but video games in general.
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