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“Exploring the surge in popularity of Fortnite and how it has regained its position as the top game globally.”


Over the weekend, nearly 45 million players logged back into Fortnite. The start of the “OG” event, which marks the return to the game’s 2018 map before it was famously sucked into a black hole, brought in a total of 102 million hours of playtime in just one day. Developer Epic Games reported that this was the highest number of hours played in a single day since the game’s release over six years ago. It’s impressive for a game that has been around for so long and has been a popular topic of discussion among children for the past five years.

To begin with: A staggering 44.7 million individuals! That’s ten times the viewership of The Last of Us premiere and a larger audience than those who have purchased To Kill a Mockingbird. While it is oversimplified to only consider video games in terms of player count and profits, I personally find it to be the least fascinating aspect of them. Nevertheless, what an impressive number.

The recent Fortnite event sheds light on how the younger generation, known as gen Z, are experiencing the games from their childhood. Nostalgia has always been a profitable aspect in entertainment, particularly in the past decade as the first generations of gamers reach middle age. However, while older gamers can search for a vintage Dreamcast on eBay and reminisce about games from their teenage years, the childhood games of gen Z are a mix of both still being available and completely gone. For a 17-year-old, they may have been playing Fortnite since the age of 12, but the current version of the game is vastly different from the one they remember and the previous version is no longer accessible.

Games that are continuously updated, like Fortnite, undergo changes over time. This includes the characters, weapons, sounds, and even the landscape slowly changing and disappearing. For a long time, players were unable to revisit the infamous and dangerous Tilted Towers area on the original Fortnite map. While it could be seen in old YouTube videos, it was no longer accessible in the game itself.

Minecraft in 2023, a changed game from its debut in 2009.

It’s the same with Minecraft, another wildly popular and culturally significant game for gen Z, one that has been going in some form since 2009. You cannot play the version of Minecraft you fell in love with when you were 10. The game now has underwater cities, totally different enemies, enchantments, all kinds of unfamiliar things.

It’s not surprising that the throwback month for Fortnite has been so popular. Many players are returning to a location and era that held significant meaning for them, which had previously been lost. Developers are constantly progressing and games evolve with the changing times, often causing controversy. As a result, there are times when millions of players feel like they have lost something.

There is a history of capitalizing on people’s nostalgic attachment to live-service games. World of Warcraft Classic is a sanctioned iteration of the long-standing multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft, set in a time period around 2007. The alterations to the game world that have occurred since then are reverted, allowing players to experience the version of WoW that resides in their memories, before any unwanted changes were implemented by developers. It currently boasts approximately one million active players per day, and Blizzard, the developers, have meticulously reintroduced expansions and new content, following the same pattern as they did in the early 2000s.

As individuals return to these games, they are longing for more than just an old game, but for a time that was less complicated. This brings Fortnite back to its original state before the pandemic, before it held massive live concerts with Travis Scott and Ariana Grande, before it became synonymous with “video games” in the media.

The Fortnite original gang event will continue for another month, featuring popular content from its early seasons. After that, the original version of Fortnite will disappear, unless Epic chooses to make it a permanent feature and allow players to access it anytime.

What to play

Alan Wake 2.

Although I’ve always disliked horror, I can’t seem to get Alan Wake 2 out of my head. It’s causing me to have nightmares, but I can’t bring myself to stop playing. The game portrays writer’s block and self-doubt as a terrifying alternate world that is incredibly difficult to break free from. It also cleverly incorporates the idea of fiction merging with reality in a disturbing manner.

The main characters of this Lynchian detective horror are Alan, a struggling writer, and Saga Anderson, a detective. They constantly switch roles as the story unfolds, with each hour bringing new surprises. The game features unique elements that I have yet to encounter in other games, such as seamlessly transitioning between live-action footage and gameplay. The tension is palpable and at times even makes me feel uneasy, especially during intense combat scenes that leave me trembling.

If all of that seems overwhelming, it certainly is! I ended up lowering the difficulty after a couple of hours because it was scaring me too much. However, it is also incredibly intriguing and ambitious, successfully executing ideas that developer Remedy has attempted in the past, but never quite achieved until now.

This content is accessible on: computer, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S.

Approximate duration of play: 16-20 hours

What to read

Grand Theft Auto V.
  • According to a report from Jason Schreier of Bloomberg, it has been revealed that Rockstar intends to make a formal announcement about the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto VI this week. A trailer is expected to be released in December to commemorate the company’s 25th anniversary. Despite the leak of hours of content by hackers last year, this news is still highly anticipated by millions and is expected to be the standout event of the gaming year.

  • Nintendo has made some even more exciting news by announcing the production of a Legend of Zelda film. Miranda Boseley has taken a stab at predicting the potential cast, with Zendaya as the princess and Jason Momoa as Ganon as top contenders. However, it remains to be seen if the movie can match the nostalgia of this 90s Japanese commercial.

  • According to Adele, her son is a major admirer of the survival game Rust, which has elements inspired by Ayn Rand’s philosophy. During a performance in Las Vegas, she shared that she had to come up with a Halloween outfit based on the game from scratch.

  • Lewis Packwood, a contributor to Guardian games, has recently published a book called “Curious Video Game Machines.” This book is a collection of unique and uncommon gaming consoles and coin-operated machines. It also features intriguing tales about bizarre creations like the Time Traveler, an arcade machine that uses holographic technology.

  • It’s been almost as horrible a year for the video games media, so it is a delight to report on the launch of a new games site, Aftermath, from an excellent group of ex-Kotaku, Washington Post and Vice writers and reporters.Aftermath is reader-supported and ad-free, and you can check it out here.

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What to click

No, Tom Holland shouldn’t play Link: what’s your dream cast for The Legend of Zelda film?

The process of creating Pokémon cards, from shaping clay to rigorous testing, is shrouded in secrecy.

Is the Japanese video game industry relying on Chinese financing to thrive?

Review of Frog Detective: The Complete Mystery – Quirky Whodunits

Reworded: “Jusant review – a thrilling climbing game that offers a unique perspective from the top of skyscrapers.”

The Thirsty Suitors review describes a blend of humorous, sexual, and sincere elements in the emotional battles portrayed.

Question Block

A Nintendo Switch console.

After discussing the topic of playing video games with children last week, one of our readers, Tom, has a question that is likely on the minds of many parents as the holiday season approaches:

“Although our oldest child has a Nintendo Switch, our two younger children are envious and eager to have their own games to play – a pastime that I am eager to encourage. Is it possible for three people to share one Switch with extra controllers? Or would it be better for each child to have their own, like when I had a Game Boy in my youth, even though it may be more expensive? Can they share digital downloads or would they have to trade physical game cartridges, like in the 90s?”

A Switch can be shared with up to three controllers, but if your children plan on playing single-player games like Pokémon or Zelda, there may be complications. Your options are to regulate whose turn it is and how long they can play, as parental controls on the Switch will not be effective in this scenario, or to purchase additional Switches. If you already own one standard Switch that can be connected to a TV for family game time, I recommend buying handheld-only Switch Lite consoles for any additional purchases, as they are more affordable. While the Switch’s online service does allow for cloud savegame sharing, it is unfortunately quite difficult to share digital downloads on Nintendo consoles, making physical game cartridges the preferred option.

If you have any inquiries for Question Block or any thoughts about the newsletter, please email us at [email protected].

Source: theguardian.com