Players are under the impression that long seasons are plaguing Fortnite, however, that is not the problem.
Fortnite: Battle Royale is unquestionably one of the most popular games of the last decade. The Epic Games title had generated well over $1 billion since its release back in 2017. Fortnite’s uniqueness came in the sense of its game mechanics, which were unlike any other. The famous Battle Royale genre has been around for quite some time. However, Fortnite added a building feature that revolutionized Battle Royales forever.
Epic Games received an endless amount of praise through the game’s first few seasons. Each passing season brought new weapons, items, vehicles and skins into the fold, which made Fortnite infinitely more valuable than any other game on the market. After a spread of successful and unsuccessful seasons, Fortnite Season X began a slow and steady decline in the public eye. Overpowered mech suits plagued the games fan base, which eventually resulted in the developers taking a step back from the weekly changes.
As a result, Season 11 and 12, dubbed Chapter 2 Season 1 and Chapter 2 Season 2, saw a much more conservative approach from the developers. The lengthy seasons also became an issue for Fortnite fans, but this might be a misguided response to the poor choices of Epic Games.
After the Fortnite Blackout event concluded, players loaded into Battle Royale mode with eagerness. No one knew what to expect outside of a few leaked screenshots. On October 15, 2019, Fortnite players were greeted with new swimming and fishing mechanics, as well as an entirely new map to discover. It was an exciting time, especially considering that most people felt Fortnite needed a refresh of sorts to reign in its audience. Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 1 did just that for the game and its followers.
The season progressed smoothly, and players quickly learned the intricacies of the new landscape. It didn’t take long for players to complete the Battle Pass and yearn for something more. Despite the addition of a harpoon gun, Epic Games held back on significant changes to the game itself. Players no longer saw weapons, items and vehicles move in and out of the vault. Although it was nice to experience a consistent product, Fortnite always prided itself on whacky alterations.
Chapter 2 Season 1 lasted four months and five days, ultimately ending on February 20, 2020. Players had grown tired of the map and were on the lookout for what was next.
On February 20, 2020, Chapter 2 Season 2 was released to a split response. The secret agent theme was undoubtedly a different experience. Season 2 brought five new points of interest (POIs) to the map. Each had non-playable boss characters, who would wield insanely powerful weapons. It was a refreshing change after the monotonous season before. Players soon began to identify issues with the map, and it was more of the same. Epic Games failed to add, remove or alter much of anything during the new season outside of exploding The Rig and reskinning The Shark. These two changes were mostly cosmetic and did not necessarily offer anything new to Fortnite players.
Significant additions to the game included a helicopter, crash pads and some other different items. It was a far cry from the early days of Fortnite. What compounded the issues in Chapter 2 Season 2 was another lengthy stay. The season was initially supposed to conclude on April 30, 2020, but that would not be the case for long.
We already know how Chapter 2 Season 1 took four long months to end. The same would occur in Chapter 2 Season 2. Likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Epic Games was unable to meet the initial April 30 release date. The developers pushed Season 3 back to June 4, which was palatable at least. Season 3 then received another delay until June 17 in response to the racial injustice movements across the world. Chapter 2 Season 2 will have run for three months and twenty-three days when Season 3 releases six days from now.
The last two seasons of Fortnite have lasted more time than any prior season. It’s worth posing the question, why are seasons growing longer and longer? Unfortunately, we are not Epic Games and cannot answer these questions specifically. However, we can point to Season X as the epicenter of all the changes, or lack thereof, surrounding Fortnite. Patch notes have been scarce and uninformative, the game remains largely the same from week-to-week and even limited-time modes have seen almost no improvement.
I believe the pandemic had a significant impact on Epic Games’ plans for the future of Fortnite both for the game itself and its competitive scene. As I said earlier, Chapter 2 Season 3 was initially supposed to release on April 30. Had that been the case, players would be well over a month into the new season with more to come and possibly in short order. It’s hard to say what the intentions of Epic Games are at this point. From the competitive side, plans were in play for another Fortnite World Cup, but social distancing and COVID-19 regulations would not allow it to happen.
The actual problem with Fortnite: Battle Royale is the lack of new content to play around with weekly. Players point to items like the Infinity Blade and Planes as weak additions to the Fortnite. That may be the case. However, we have not seen either of those items return since their respective seasons. Epic Games might have a genuine fear of adding new vehicles, weapons and items, especially after the backlash from the mech suits in Season X.
Hopefully, Epic Games will return to what once made Fortnite the most popular game in the world. Fast-paced, entertaining seasons that flowed seamlessly from one to the next. In general, extended seasons are not the problem, but Fortnite needs continuous content to keep the game fresh. Otherwise, players suffer burnout from no new material and nothing to look toward in the future. Chapter 2 Season 3 is a chance to get back on the right track.
Photo Credit: Epic Games