Epic Games has a mega-hit on their hands with Fortnite: Battle Royale, and they know it. But if the game ever seems unrealistic or unpolished — or like it goes down for maintenance or some kind of system failure far too often — then that’s because of a specific reason: Fortnite is still upfront about being an incomplete video game in its Early Access period.
If you’ve been playing Fortnite for long enough, then you’ve undoubtedly been in a situation once or twice where you wanted to log on but couldn’t due to server maintenance or issues logging into to your account. Like when the version 3.5 update came out and Fortnite servers inexplicably got shut down and players couldn’t log on, seemingly because of a massive update that included the reintroduction of a 50 vs. 50 game mode.
There has perhaps never been a single game as popular as Fortnite that’s remained this long in Early Access. Many games, especially on PC-based platforms like Steam, use an Early Access period as a way to get people playing their game, usually for free, before the game actually comes out. Essentially, they let real gamers beta test an incomplete, unpolished game long before the developer is ready to ship a “complete” game.
This is the state Fortnite is in right now, and will remain in, for the foreseeable future. Even at that, plenty of big-budget online games also crash every now and then, including the likes of Destiny 2 and even Overwatch, though it happens less frequently.
For many Fortnite gamers out there, especially those teenagers that seem to love the game so much, playing a game like this might seem like a novel experience. It might even seem like a frustrating or scary experience when Fortnite goes down suddenly.
If and when this happens, it has little to do with inadequacies over at Epic Games, and it has everything to do with the game’s popularity and the fact that it is still a work in progress. A lot of people have to work really hard to keep the thing operational, and they’ll always work hard to get it up and running again ASAP — sometimes even giving players bonus rewards in the process.
On the plus side, when Fortnite servers do go down, we get some seriously hilarious jokes from the folks over at Pornhub, so maybe it’s all worth it?