LOS ANGELES — The Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, is taking over downtown Los Angeles this week. The star of the year’s biggest gaming event is the free battle-royale style game Fortnite that’s become a pop culture phenomenon.
“If you remember a couple of years ago Pokemon Go, this phenomenon when people were walking around the city playing Pokemon, it’s very similar to that,” said Ben Howard, VP of Programming at GameSpot. “It grew very fast, and it’s influencing whole industry.”
Howard showed us how players quickly get addicted to the Hunger Games style format that drops 100 players on an island who battle each other until one is left standing. After a year on the market, Fornite has 125 million players around the globe.
“The key thing with Fortnite is that it’s free, so that enables them to pull together big audience very very quickly. I think that free model is what you’re going to see other people imitate.”
And its captivating everyone from the young to first time players, and fans who can’t get enough.
“Did it live up to the hype?”
“So far yes,” said gamer Jean Angeles. “Yeah I can see myself playing it like all the time, like throughout the night.”
“It’s fun to see how you end up with a 100 people on the map,” added gamer Basil Inferrera.
Trying not be left in Fortnite’s shadow, rival companies are creating their own versions.
“Two of the biggest games companies right now – Activision and Electronic Arts – the two big games they announced this week ‘Battlefield and ‘Call of Duty’ have battle royale modes which is really the type of game that fortnite is,” said Howard.
Industry experts said that proves that multi-player, social gaming is the way of the future.