Fortnite fever rises as video-game makers gather for confab
E3, the video-game industry’s big trade show, is where companies typically showcase their newest titles, but it’s the year-old free global hit Fortnite that’s likely to be the talk of the convention in Los Angeles next week.
The multiplayer shooting title released last year by closely held Epic Games has become a cultural phenomenon. It’s attracted 45 million players worldwide and is generating hundreds of millions of dollars a month in sales from fans buying virtual avatars and accessories. That’s as much as paid hits like Call of Duty from industry leader Activision Blizzard.
Already some game-makers are adapting to Fortnite’s battle-royale style of play. Activision, for example, will use E3 to show off its latest Call of Duty, due to be released in October, with an every-man-for-himself mode. Online game sites speculate that Electronic Arts will unveil a battle-royale version of its upcoming Battlefield V and that Nintendo Co. will make Fortnite available on its popular Switch gaming device. That would be a big change for the kid-friendly company whose combat-oriented title Splatoon mimics paintball.