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The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

Fortnite Returns

Epic keeps breaking its own player count high scores because of flooding servers—why?

Stella Tucker announces her arrival home with a slam of the back door, entering the kitchen to see my younger brother, Jack, pouring a glass of milk. In an instant almost too quick for human eyes to catch, understanding flashes between them. Stella’s black backpack is quickly thrown to the ground, and Jack’s cup of milk is left abandoned on the table as the two race upstairs in competition for the Xbox. Whoever makes it there first gets the ultimate prize: access to Fortnite.  

Over the years, Fortnite, which was talked about constantly and controlled a large part of school life in 2019, has declined into a hidden sort of popularity. While people still played the game during these not-so-popular years, it was less talked about and more or less hidden. At school, teens who played Fortnite were ridiculed and mocked.

Recently though, Fortnite has slowly crawled out from the shadows and into the blazing sun to reclaim its previous glory, a game played by—and yet simultaneously hated by—all. While its player counts haven’t done anything but grow steadily over the years, there was still a three year gap where Fortnite was seldom, if ever, talked about. So why is it popular again now, of all times?

In 2023, Epic—the developers of Fortnite—announced that they would be releasing a new season, a Chapter 1 based OG map. What does this have to do with anything? One of the main reasons people set down their controllers years ago and left Fortnite behind was because of the ever-changing map. Players, including myself, felt the game was moving too fast, leaving behind things we’d loved about it and replacing them with new locations or weapons.

Epic, realizing this, decided to bring back the old map in a new OG season. Players who hadn’t played for years were suddenly gaming again in an attempt to get good before the season was released. For weeks in advance, people made plans to clear the day for release, including skipping school. One kid even went as far as to slash his mother’s tire to make it impossible for them to leave for school.

The weird thing though, is the older audience now playing the game. Since the kids who played the game in 2019 have grown up now, older teens are joining the matches and raising player counts, looking for a taste of their past. While Fortnite appeals more to younger players, they’ve somehow managed to widen that range with the OG season and gain more appeal. People crave a sense of nostalgia and a reminder of their past, it’s why 90’s clothes keep coming back and trends never stay buried for long. So while Fortnite coming back may be weird, it’s definitely not unexpected.

After reaching all new player counts on the release of Season OG, Epic had to follow up with something equally spectacular, which they successfully pulled off with their new Myths and Mortals section.

Players, including Andrew Bryant, a Summit sophomore and laid back Fortnite player, found the new bosses and map to be extremely exciting compared to the ones they’d been releasing before. Epic’s player counts remained high as players explored the new Greek mythology themed map. One of the reasons many players stopped gaming was finally addressed as well, something that had been getting on many people’s nerves as the game progressed.

“It’s actually following the story now, which they don’t do [normally], because it doesn’t make them as much money,” Bryant said. The story, which has been lost as the game moved forward, used to be the main reason I played the game and is now the reason everyone is playing again.

Not everything about the release was positive, though, as Epic had some difficulty holding up to the overwhelming flow of players into the game.

“I didn’t [play when it updated] because the servers were offline for twelve hours,” Bryant said. After Epic updated their server, teens and family members attempted to get on and found the wait to even get into a map to be over an hour long in the best cases. Players found this a disappointing way to start the season, but not surprising. After all, millions of people were attempting to play at the same time.

Returning to the happier side of the battle bus though, in early Dec. three new modes were added to the game, including one of the most popular options: Lego Fortnite.

“It gives you a good creative outlet and it lets you express yourself artistically,” Bryant said, claiming it’s his favorite mode. In Lego Fortnite, players run through a crafting-survival game, similar in some parts to Minecraft due to the unique world building, sandbox style, and overall exploratory themes that come with both.

Overall, Fortnite made its resurgence for multiple reasons, but the main one being its debut of Season OG. Season OG dragged players from their desks at school to the console, and Epic kept them there with Lego Fortnite and Myths and Mortals. While it may not be for the best that it came back, it’s certainly gaining popularity once again and connecting people all over the world. If there’s anything I can say for certain, it’s thay Fortnite is here to stay, for generations to come. As Bryant said at the end of our interview, “You can’t separate Fortnite from society.”

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About the Contributor
Scarlett Tucker
Scarlett Tucker, Staff Writer

When staff writer Scarlett Tucker isn’t doing ballet, she can often be found reading a new book, drawing to her heart’s content, and procrastinating on any and all work. With nearly no free time to spare, you can find her up and moving all time, even late into the night. A steadfast Swiftie, she often spends hours (that she doesn’t have time to spend) clowning around with other Swifties and listening to Taylor Swift, mainly her alternative album Folklore. She’s extremely excited to learn how to enhance the few writing skills she has, and work with a team of people who also enjoy writing.

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    AnonymousMar 25, 2024 at 12:23 am

    Fortnite is hated often, but I think it’s derived mostly from it having a prominent (and loud) young fan base. People are scared of looking like a kid so they are quick to dismiss it. But Fortnite honestly is the only game that does justice to every collaboration and brings every major franchise together in one place. Also epic games are modern geniuses who keep a backlog of furry skins in their lockbox that they release everytime they begin to dip in player counts to drag… Certain players… Back to the game.