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Fortnite is coming to Mobile, cross play included

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One of the fastest growing genres of games is Battle Royale and one of the front runners is Fortnite. Made by Epic Games on the Unreal Engine, Fortnite is a Battle Royale game with simple designs and ideas that appeal to an incredibly diverse audience. That audience is set to expand yet again as a Mobile version of the game is in development.
H1Z1 brought my attention to the Battle Royale genre before PUBG gave me real hope for a "realistic" game that, whilst still very much far from finished, would rid me of my gripes with the play style of H1Z1. Then came PUBG's first person mode that really saw me go back to ignoring third person games. But the Battle Royale genre had another trick up its sleeve with Fortnite racing to popularity, popularity so huge it can be seen in the incredible effect it's having on Twitch for example. Tyler "Ninja" Blevins was by no means a small streamer beforehand, a well known personality from H1Z1 as well as a professional Halo player for Luminosity Gaming. However his switch to Fortnite and his incredible ability not only to win and break records but also entertain has seen his viewer base soar. With Fortnite's recent Twitch Prime rewards, the effect has been clear as Blevins has, at my last look, reached 143,000 Twitch subscribers. Paid subscribers. An incredible achievement.

But the reason we are discussing this is to attempt to put into perspective the growth of this game, which according to the creators recently hit a peak concurrent players of 3.4 million. This is clearly a number Epic are looking to continue to grow as they have announced Fortnite for mobile.
Hey Fortnite Community,

Fortnite Battle Royale is coming to mobile devices! On phones and tablets, Fortnite is the same 100-player game you know from PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac. Same gameplay, same map, same content, same weekly updates. Starting Monday, you can sign-up for the Invite Event on iOS. Support for Android will be coming in the next few months.
This was surprising to me, as I'm not exactly well versed with mobile gaming, no matter how big my phone screen gets (and on a 7+ it's not exactly small) I never feel like I have enough space for that. With that being said, in the name of fairness and to reduce any bias I downloaded a similar game that in all honesty is just a straight copy of PUBG on the mobile. So there I am, headphones in, sat in my £300 gaming chair with an iPhone in my hands, the absolute peak for gaming. Whilst I'm giving it a hard time, it wasn't the least enjoyable thing I've ever done and after ending my first game with 8 kills and a sense of confusion I can see why people would use them to play games on the move or whilst away from their computer or console, if they have one. But I still have some questions and points of concern.

The biggest point that caught my eye in the announcement was the following lines.
In partnership with our friends at Sony, Fortnite Battle Royale will support Cross Play and Cross Progression between PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, iOS and eventually Android. This means players across devices can squad up with friends and play together.
It is specifically the words "Cross Play" that stuck out to me, and at first I wondered if I was interpreting it correctly. So I did a little bit of reading around with people who know the game more than me, as I'm still fairly new to Fortnite in general. It turns out I was reading it right, however there are some circumstances that need to be taken into consideration. Yes, the aim is to be able to play together with your friend no matter which platform they are using to play the game. Which there would be an immediate problem of getting absolutely destroyed by those wielding a mouse and keyboard. However comments on Reddit assured me that whilst you can play with your friend on a console (or future mobile) from your PC, they will always be forced onto PC servers and not the other way around. So whilst this gets rid of the issue of PC players abusing mobile server, the unlucky friends who find themselves on a PC server with their iPhone in their hand are still going to have a really rough time.

One point I would say Fortnite has in its favour when it comes to being played on mobile is the simplicity of the graphics and to some extent the gameplay. There is no doubt the game looks beautiful but the cartoon art style and clean map and models means seeing what is in front of you on your mobile screen will be much easier than for example PUBG. The weapons firing style and lack of attachments for example should lend itself well to mobile play also.

But with gameplay and simplicity in mind one aspect I imagine will be incredibly difficult on mobile is building. I can barely build a 1x1x1 as it is with all the keys in the world available to me, I can't imagine how hard I would fail at it on mobile. Add to this how fast paced the fights are, with players running, building and impulse grenading themselves towards each other with shotgun in hand at every opportunity and I don't think my brain could keep up with the controls a mobile offers. The screen space taken up by the controls and my not slender fingers is so large, even on the biggest of phones, that I'm not sure I will ever be entirely aware.

One large and undeniable factor that mobile gaming does bring is micro transactions. This is something most games utilise now days in one way or another, including Fortnite. Mobile games however are on another level with just how much money people will spend on anything and everything in a mobile game. I'm not sure the reasoning behind it, whether its ease of access or the type of players playing, but I'm sure they will be making even more money from their cosmetic purchases once mobile rolls out fully.

With all that being said, and my scepticism toward such games being played on a mobile device, I will be giving it a go at my first available opportunity because I think if nothing else it deserves a chance. The invite event signups are supposed to be open Monday March 12 with limited invites being sent out via email and more invites rolling out in the following months.

You can sign up for a chance of getting to play over at - fortnite.com/mobile

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