In the past two years, video gaming has undergone a revolution – a rise in popularity of games like Fortnite and Player Unknown's BattleGrounds led to the birth of the battle royale genre, and now many industry leads are incorporating these multiplayer deathmatches in their flagship titles.
Fortnite is arguably the most popular in its genre, and with an estimated 250 million players, it is no wonder that the developer, Epic Games, is now worth a reported $15 billion.
reports that a Canadian law firm is now taking legal action against Fortnite's developer, Epic Games, based on addictive tactics being used in the game to help induce the pleasure hormone, dopamine in the player. For this reason, Epic Games are being accused of using the same tactics that are used by the creators of slot machines to attract players and use them to drive revenue and profit.
Fortnite erases the line between video gaming and Pokies gambling
The basic premise of Fortnite is in the multiplayer, 100-person deathmatches that can be played solo, in teams of two or squads of four. All of the players drop into the map at the same time and are then left to fight it out for the 'victory royale,' awarded to the last team or player standing.
While free-to-play, Fortnite, and Epic Games take advantage of exclusivity to help drive revenue, giving players the option to buy different skins, outfits, and weapon camos from an ever-changing in-game store.
Fortnite beats all records in gaining new players. Statista called it a worldwide phenomenon after the number of players crossed 250 million across the globe in March 2019.
Number of registered users of Fortnite worldwide (in millions)
Fortnite appeals to its intended audience for a few reasons.
- Easy to pick up and play, with games rarely taking much longer than half an hour
- Free-to-play nature. The audience is continually growing while the new challenges, themes, constant updates, and store changes are implemented frequently to keep older and returning players entertained.
- Regular events in the game with new game modes and changes to the map made periodically, connecting with an elaborate and overarching storyline.
When a game becomes a cultural phenomenon
One of how Fortnite retains popularity is through its cultural relevance. Through various movie and TV franchise tie-ins, the game steadily attracts new audiences and players through its smart marketing and constant updates. In the past, Fortnite had cross-over events with the biggest franchises in the world: Batman, It, and The Avengers are just a few of the franchises that have been immortalized within Fortnite.
In the same way, slot providers consistently attempt to tap into new demographics and to attract new players through licensing deals with popular franchises. Some of the most popular slots in the online gaming market are related to franchises, with Game of Thrones, Alien, Gladiator, and Batman just a handful of the many online slot games that have been inspired or linked to pop culture.
How rewards work
Fortnite does not rely on the pathological tactic that many game development companies employ these days, Loot Boxes. However, the game does utilize the psychological process behind loot boxes in the core gameplay itself, encouraging players to always be in a state of anticipation. Players can find varying levels of loot in the world, with different guns having different strengths and a range of other tools that can help you win the victory royale.
It is known as variable rewards, the same system used within loot boxes in video games and online slot machines. The basic principle revolves around never knowing what you are going to get as you play. Gamers do not know which loot they will find in their game of Fortnite or the loot box that they prepare to open in another game. The same as players playing pokies, they release the exact chemicals in their brains, encouraging active participation and more extended gameplay. It is also for this reason that legally video game loot boxes are now classified as gambling
Avoid Losses by playing more
The principle of loss aversion is another shared by both the online gaming and gambling industries. In Fortnite, when a player experiences a loss, they may wish to play again immediately, not wanting to have their session be a waste of time or to end on a loss. The feeling of protecting their ego causes it. In the end, the player feels satisfied with spending time with the game.
In online slot machines and pokies, the same principle applies. No player wants to end on a big loss, and therefore, the best way to potentially avoid losses is to keep playing until you win and end on a high note. If you hit a big win and end your session, you will likely come out with a profit while ending on a bad note will only present the player with a loss.
Social Gaming Trend
Social casinos are becoming an increasingly popular trend amongst both novice and experienced gamblers. Although many of these are typically played with fake money, instead of real money, they borrow and lean heavily on the social element of typical social games.
brings the example of those games that allow you to play without having to spend any real money. At the same time, it will enable you to play a range of games with your friends and family, much in the same way that the video game industry has shifted to a focus on multiplayer in the past two decades.
Fortnite is not about addiction but instead focused on bringing people together. With the capacity to play with friends or alongside new people to meet new friends, the game has a heavy focus on socializing, encouraging, and even rewarding players who use it to interact with other people. Completing challenges with friends and winning games alongside your mates can be a rewarding process, and the same theory can be applied to social casinos and slot games.