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Epic can’t win: catering to competitive vs casuals

Publish Date: 04.08.2021
Fortnite firecracker

Fortnite esports seemed like the next big thing back in the World Cup days.

It’s since fallen off, but still has substantial viewership whenever a new FNCS competition goes live.

The same can be said for the casual side of the game. There are as many pub-stomping players as ever, but a lot of the bots have left for other titles.

Epic Games

Casual vs Competitive

A lot of game devs need to balance the casual and competitive side of their titles, but Fortnite might be in the most difficult position of them all.

After all, Fortnite bills itself as the goofy, cartoonish, ever-evolving Battle Royale experience that should be – in theory – casual-friendly.

At the same time, as competitive players get more advanced, they seem to want as little change as possible so they can master the existing mechanics.

Fortnite commentator, AussieAntics, outlined this problem on Twitter, where he acknowledged that Epic are in a lose-lose situation.

Epic Games

Chapter 1 Season 1 is a perfect example of this problem. It was the most boring season in the history of Fortnite, but competitive players loved it.

This season, we might have the opposite problem. The map has changed a lot already, and will likely change again before the FNCS ends.

Pro players have their rotations down to a science, and a POI update can completely change the game for them.

Epic Games

To be fair, Epic used to be a lot worse at this.

OG Fortnite fans will remember that Epic released a patch in the middle of a major tournament more than once. The World Cup even spanned three seasons of the game.

I don’t have a solution to this problem, but Epic should be working on one.

Do we have a static competitive map that never changes?

Do we completely split the loot pool from each mode?

Each solution brings its own set of problems, but the current state of competitive Fortnite certainly needs some tuning.

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