I ended 2023 playing Fortnite. And I’ve just kept going. We are nearly 10 days into 2024 and I’ve only played one game so far: Fortnite. I almost played some Destiny 2 at one point, but the servers were borked. I then almost played something on my phone, but it needed an update. I tried another game, but while I was ready to play, my brother’s game needed a big update. So I crawled back to Fortnite. I was such a fool for even trying to play something else.
The reality is that my job demands that, eventually, I will have to play something else. I’m not entirely sure what that will be. That new Prince of Persia game looks neat. Maybe I’ll play that and take a break from Fortnite.
But I know that sooner or later, the siren call of Fortnite will lure me back. You might wonder, “Hey, why are you so into this game?” It’s a fair question. What about Epic’s digital menagerie of franchises, IPs, and celebrities has clicked with my brain and created a bond stronger than super glue?
Well, it’s not one particular thing. But it also is. Let me explain a bit:
Fortnite hasn’t dug its claws into me just because it offers so much—though all the content does help. It’s very cool that I can drive super fast in the new Rocket Racing game developed by Rocket League devs Pysonix. It’s also rad that I can play one of the best Lego games ever made, Lego Fornite, inside Epic’s digital toybox. And it’s super duper nice that I can load up Fortnite Festival—a rhythm game from Rock Band studio Harmonix—and play songs and earn high scores inside Fortnite. And all of this supports cross-platform multiplayer and progression as well.
Oh, and let’s not forget the extremely popular battle royale mode inside Fortnite. Y’know, the very thing that helped it skyrocket to the top of the most-played games list in the first place? That mode is still in there, alongside the PvE horde mode Save The World, and thousands of user-made creations and maps, too.
But all of that stuff isn’t what keeps me playing Fortnite day after day. What keeps me coming back is that all of this is available, every night, with no updates, patches, or client fixes. There is no installing big expansions or new games; no managing my hard drive’s space as I try to squeeze yet another large game onto my SSD.
Instead, all of Fortnite’s wonderful toy box is sitting there on my Xbox or PC, ready to go at the touch of a button. Sure, Fortnite itself has updates from time to time. But they aren’t frequent and come with plenty of warning. And once that one update is done, all of Fortnite is ready to go. Every community map, user-made game, official mode, and battle royale variant. One update basically takes care of an entire library of games and experiences. Efficient!
In 2024, what Fortnite provides is something almost no other big game can offer: Near instantaneous access to the fucking video game you wanna play. It’s weird to realize, but that just isn’t something I can count on anymore. (And yes, I know the consoles are supposed to auto-update, but that’s not foolproof, and even when it works, installing new games still takes time.)
Most nights I only have two or three hours at most to play some games. And with Fortnite, 99 percent of the time at least, its massive collection of games is ready for me. No wait. No fuss. No updates. And I gotta say, that’s a pretty strong argument for playing it over most other games.