Fortnite has blazed a path for itself in the gaming space, and even rivals longtime greats like Minecraft as the most successful game of all time.
The developers at Epic Games have brought a host of new and unique ideas to Fortnite that have pushed the Battle Royale genre forward. To their credit, they've never been shy about borrowing good ides from other developers, either.
Some say that copying other games is a bad thing, but I couldn't disagree more. The industry is built on copycat projects that seek to take a working format and move it forward.
As much as Fortnite has borrowed from other games, other developers have borrowed from Fortnite. I mean, the Battle Pass monetization structure is a fantastic marriage of player-friendly monetization; and that was all Fortnite.
Let's take a look at some of the biggest elements Fortnite has borrowed from other games, to varying degrees of success.
Everything Apex Legends
Apex Legends was the first true "Fortnite killer" put to the market. Although the game never lived up to that designation, it's still wildly successful to this day.
Respawn Entertainment took existing ideas for a Battle Royale, brought it to the Titanfall universe, and added some quality-of-life features that some BR players may forget were ever missing from the genre.
Some of the biggest innovations featured in Apex Legends, later copied by Fortnite, include:
- Reviving dead teammates
- Vaults full of loot that take keys to enter
- Map pings
- The crafting system
Economy - Warzone
Gold has been in Fortnite for a while, mimicking the money system in Warzone. The money and loadout system in Warzone solved an inherent problem in BRs - RNG.
You no longer need to search the map to find the best floor loot in the game. In Warzone, you can buy a loadout to ensure you have everything you want.
Although such a system doesn't directly translate to Fortnite, Epic saw the ability to use a currency to upgrade weapons, get unique items, hire NPCs, and more.
Gold might not be the best iteration of a BR economy we've seen, but it was an interesting take on a system lifted directly from CoD: Warzone.
NPC enemies - Escape From Tarkov
I'm not a fan of all of the times Fortnite has copied other games - especially in this case.
Bear with me, as I'm not an Escape From Tarkov player, but I understand that this survival/BR title introduced the idea of NPC enemies players encounter while looting and fighting other players.
Epic seems to have liked the idea, and have been implementing roaming NPC enemies season after season.
Fortnite combined the vaults from Apex with NPCs from EFT, while adding the most annoying elements Fortnite has seen: Marauders, IO Guards, The Sideways enemies - the list goes on and on.
Imposters - Among Us
Fortnite didn't even try to hide this one.
After the success of Among Us, Epic Games created their own version of the indie hit within Fortnite. Although there's some Fortnite-specific mechanics to the game, Epic did little to hide the fact that they took the concept from Among Us - not that they could hide it in the first place.
Thankfully, it doesn't feel like a giant company ripping off an indie developer. Epic have since partnered with the Among Us developer to bring skins and more to Fortnite.
The BR format - PUBG
Fortnite's tendency to embrace other games shouldn't be a surprise, as its format began as a direct copy of PUBG and H1Z1 - which was also a PUBG copy.
PUBG created the Battle Royale format in gaming. Fortnite was a tower-defense, PvE horde game until it released BR. Now, Epic have seemingly abandoned their original direction for Fortnite: Save the World.
Saying Fortnite copied PUBG is like saying Halo copied Quake. It's not untrue, but a format doesn't make a game.
In reality, Fortnite and PUBG couldn't be more different - especially when comparing PUBG to Blackout, Warzone, and even Apex Legends.
Still, the success of Fortnite was entirely driving by Epic's willingness to pivot to a trending idea. From their, they evolved the game, supported it, and watched to grow to the gaming behemoth we know today.