Fortnite Battle Royale’s Success Is Hurting Epic’s Other Games

Fortnite Battle Royale’s Success Is Hurting Epic’s Other Games

Yesterday a representative for Epic Games’ online battle arena Paragon posted a message on Reddit casting the future of the game in doubt. Today, on the Unreal Tournament forums, fans are worrying over the fate of the latest instalment of that beloved series.

Both games share a common problem: the runaway success of Fortnite Battle Royale.

When Paragon launched in early access back in 2016, Fortnite wasn’t a going concern. Not much had happened with the build-and-defend multiplayer game since it was announced in late 2011. All of Epic’s energy seemed focused on making Paragon, its new third-person DOTA-style multiplayer game, a success.

Fortnite and guests.

Fortnite and guests.

While Paragon never went big, it did gather a small, dedicated player base, largely due to the development team’s regular updates and willingness to revamp the game entirely based on player feedback. But those updates have slowed considerably in the months since the release of Fortnite — particularly the September launch of the game’s standalone Fortnite Battle Royale mode.

According to the official Epic Games post on the Paragon Reddit page, Fortnite‘s success is one of the main reasons for the slowdown:

First, the team’s time is split between immediate improvements and longer-term efforts, so there’s less visible progress. Second, a number of Paragon team members jumped onto Fortnite to help sustain the game as it has grown far larger than anything in Epic’s past.

It’s the same issue that’s been bothering fans of the latest Unreal Tournament. Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode was created by members of the Unreal Tournament team in the first place, so members of that team moving to Fortnite full-time was inevitable.

Some members of the Unreal Tournament forums, in a thread worrying over the lack of official updates for the in-development game, are hopeful that Fortnite‘s success will eventually translate into success for Epic’s other games. Others, like the forum poster below, aren’t as optimistic.

Fortnite‘s success will bury this game for good. Epic isn’t going to take a chance on a new AFPS when Fortnite is already making money hand over fist.”

As for Paragon, it’s not looking good. From the official Reddit post:

Though Paragon has evolved, no iteration has yet achieved that magical combination of ingredients that make for a sustainable game.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be figuring out if and how we can evolve Paragon to achieve growth and success …

Whatever happens, we’ll always have Skull-Face McMoonhead.


  • Other games aren’t the only things hurting thanks to BR’s success. The ‘save the world’ PVE game-mode is languishing in obscurity as the clear runner-up to the new hotness all the devs want to work on, comment on in forums/social media, and obviously play in their spare/work time instead of touching the abandoned PVE.

    The fanboy apologist cry of, “They’re totally separate teams, guys, nothing is being ignored at all!” is clearly complete fucking bullshit.

    • I agree, I think PVE is being ignored. But Fortnite was announced in 2011, think about how much the industry has changed since then. We’ve gotten bored of certain genres and enamoured with new ones. Epic’s clearly realised that this other idea is what people really want to play right now, but they still feel chained to this 8 year old idea because of the obligation.

      I get that it scratches a different itch and that some people don’t like playing PVP all the time, but maybe they should completely overhaul the PVE to create more of a PVPVE experience instead? What if we were working with a much bigger /open world map and zombies were still there but we could team up with or betray other players on the fly? I just feel like we’ve already seen a dozen times what Fortnite PVE has to offer right now and that Epic could learn from the success of the PVP to, create something fresh.

      PVE feels like a very static experience vs. the dynamism of PVP right now. It feels like an old played-out genre vs a new exciting one.

  • Considering Epic’s mixed results with other games in busy genres I can’t blame them for wanting to focus on Fortnite, I don’t think you’ll find too many studios wanting to hurt their bottom line for smaller communities.
    Which sucks for me because I wanted great things for UT 🙁

  • I got Fortnite for the PVE, even paid, was enjoying it until I realised the complaints I had with the game, are complaints that had lasted thorugh several iterations already. And doesn’t look like they are going to throw any more resources at it now.

  • I’m of the opinion that if the other games were equally as good as Fortnite BR, then this wouldn’t be a problem.

    • Heh. Games don’t necessarily succeed based on whether they’re good any more. They succeed if they’re popular to stream. Shithouse reality of the day.

      • There have always been games that have survived and thrived despite themselves. WoW springs to mind. If its launch happened today, it would have been blasted as bad as NMS was in 2016. The bugs and lag at launch were horrendous, and that was before you got to the lack of end game content.

        Luckily for it, us, and gaming in general, WoW got better. A large part of why it was able to get there was also because it catered to very low end machines, and gamers who couldn’t really play anything else 🙂

        A GeForce 2 was enough graphics to play, which was really old tech by then.

        • It was also doing something that hadn’t really been done to that scale before, or with that level of polish. We can laugh at servers going down for literally days at a time such that more time in a week was offline than not, but that was actually not bad for an MMO launch at the time (lookin’ at you, Anarchy Online), and it had the strength of the Warcraft brand where the others were newcomers.

          EverQuest’s industry-topping boast at the time was a hundred-thousand suscriptions. WoW blasted that into itty bitty pieces within its first few months with well over a million subscribers; a truly unforseen (if not undreamed of) level of interest that was largely to blame for the launch months’ server issues.

          And it was good. Real good. There were many reasons it was the industry gold-standard. A reason it attained popularity that peaked at 12 million subscribers and was responsible for launching a brand new industry gold rush that would see hundreds of doomed competitors try to do basically the same thing as WoW, without the benefit of the headstart, the experience, the brand, the social capital, or the budget. (Colossally stupid in hindsight, for those who overextended beyond being sustainable and happy with ‘1 million player’ niche markets.)

          • Definitely. I saw both EQ and WoW at the highest level (at the time), and they were both phenomenal games to play in their own way. I’ve still not seen a game that matches EQ’s raid setup, and WoW’s story was as immersive as they come.

            Was mostly pointing out that for the first 3-4 months of WoW’s existence, that wasn’t the case. Not ragging on what it became, just its launch. Once they got them sorted, its quality was obvious, and the rest is history. It was picking up 250k new players a month for years, for good reason.

            Its amazing to look back at that era, from UO through to WoW, and see all the decisions made that in hindsight look ridiculous, but because there was nothing to compare to, necessary to get to where we are today. Aint hindsight grand? 🙂

  • I wouldn’t blame Fortnite. Paragon is pretty but has nothing on games like smite. Its just really slow and pretty boring, and unreal tournament? Now thats a game im keen for… that I know it exists.

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