Behind the HYPE: How 'Fortnite' Redefined Gaming While Raking in Billions

We examine the game’s place in pop culture and its massive crossover appeal.

Gaming
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Fortnite is a free to play battle royale title from publisher Epic Games that’s transcended video games globally and has become part of pop culture. With frequent collaborators ranging from musical superstars like Travis Scott and Drake to athletes like Juju Smith and Lonzo Ball, the title remains relevant up to now due to its massive crossover appeal and constant updates.

The game first began to hit mainstream success when Drake joined to play with Twitch’s most popular streamer Tyler “Ninja” Belvins. The stream shattered the all-time record of 400,000 concurrent viewers, amassing headlines and press attention. Soon, artists like Travis Scott, JuJu Smith Schuster, and Lil Yachty all wanted in on Ninja’s popular platform, propelling Ninja to the cultural forefront.

Fortnite’s popularity continued to rise as it shape-shifted the gaming industry to become the first cross-playable title on all consoles. It also caused a surge in the esports community, elevating streamers like Myth, Hamlinz, Daequan, Tfue, Nate Hill, and Nickmercs to online stardom. It went on to feature collaborations with Marvel Studios to promote both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, two of the most profitable films ever made.

Following the introduction of “Chapter 2” and top Hollywood partnerships with Deadpool, Batman, and Star Wars, Fornite continues to innovate. With revenues close to $4.2 billion USD while being free to play for all platforms, it remains a cornerstone of contemporary e-sports.

In the video above, HYPEBEAST’s Behind the HYPE series takes a closer look at Fortnite’s popularity and how it has defined this generation of gaming.

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