Fortnite's Battle Royale
Just in case it wasn’t clear Fortnite is taking over the world, today Epic has announced it’s coming to the biggest gaming platform of all: mobile.
Fortnite Mobile is very real, and early tests are rolling out in iOS as soon as this Monday. Epic detailed the mobile version of the game in a short blog post today and it’s…pretty much just Fortnite. The exact same game, the same map, the same constant updates, just on mobile instead of PC or console.
The best part about it? Fortnite Mobile will feature cross play on PS4, PC, Mac, iOS and eventually Android. Missing from that list is Xbox One, which is normally very much into cross play in a way Sony is not, but I’m not quite clear on what’s happening here, as it could possibly have something to do with Microsoft’s embrace of PUBG as console exclusive, though I’m not positive.
The arrival of Fortnite Mobile is imminent. Monday, March 12th will be an iOS invite event that you can sign up for here, which will be your first look at the game on mobile if you’re chosen to participate. For now it’s only on iOS, but it’s clear Epic wants to expand to Android eventually, and if you do get a code, you’ll get a few to share with your friends.
The obvious question is how a fully functional version of Fortnite will perform using iPhone and iPad controls, which are notoriously not fantastic for shooters. While not impossible, surely, I will be curious to see how this goes, and what changes Epic has made in order to get this to work. It’s pretty amazing that not only is this a full version of Fortnite, not a stripped-down port, but also that it’s built-in with cross play. Though again, I do wonder how mobile players will compete with console players and especially PC players, who have the greatest amount of control through a mouse and keyboard. But the point is…if you want to play Fortnite on the go, you can, which is why people have been begging for a Switch port since launch (and will still beg after this, because I’m guessing most people would rather play on a Switch than an iPad).
Fortnite continues to show its dexterity where its rival PUBG simply cannot keep up. Fortnite was the first to reach consoles, and was able to get itself on 75 millions PS4s while PUBG couldn’t because Sony doesn’t have an early access program. And if we see a fully-fledged version of PUBG on phones and tablets any time soon, I will be amazed. I’m amazed enough that Fortnite is doing it.
Fortnite is already clocking well over 3 million concurrent players with 40+ million total, and those numbers could increase exponentially if the mobile version is a hit. And given the current state of Fortnite, the mobile version not being a hit is almost unthinkable, provided gameplay isn’t a total disaster.
On a day when The Division 2, Black Ops 4 and Super Smash Bros. Switch were all announced, this still might be the most significant news of the day. Fortnite is unstoppable, and will have a billion more devices it can dominate soon enough.
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