There is no denying that Fortnite is a force to be reckoned with. Since Epic Games included a free-to-play Battle Royale mode to all platforms in an era when PUBG was still restricted to PC, the game blew up in popularity - and for good reason. But it's not just players noticing what a massive shadow this casts, even Activision seems to be getting a little worried about the Fortnite focus.
In a recent earnings call, CEO of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, acknowledged how much of a contender this title is while also mentioning the company's shortcomings in light of Fortnite's rapid fire success.
"Fortnite is definitely a lot of competition right now," admitted Kotick and he is not alone in this sentiment as a fellow publisher. But just because Fortnite is upping the ante a little bit on competing franchises, doesn't mean it was a bad year for the company. World of Warcraft players are enjoying "overperformance" in anticipation of the upcoming expansion, Battle for Azeroth. Call of Duty players are also still coming in droves and are looking forward to more information regarding Black Ops IIII. Overwatch, of course, continues to impress with a constant influx of new content and an attentive team to the gameplay experience.
All in all, 2017 was still a good year for Activision Blizzard and 2018 seems to be treating them just as well. That being said, Battle Royale is in their sights and there have already been numerous reports stating that the upcoming Call of Duty will carry on the popular genre. "The idea of new competition is going to be a staple for gaming," Kotick stated on the topic of Battle Royale. "For most new franchises, this will be an important mode of play."
"[The success of Fortnite] is highlighting the ability to successfully bring immersive gaming experiences like battle royale to mobile in both Western and Eastern audiences, or markets," CFO Spencer Adam Neumann chimed in. "And that's really encouraging as we think about our future mobile opportunities, and our growth opportunities generally as gaming becomes increasingly mainstream."
It's all about innovating and capitalizing on innovation. A sound strategy for a business but does mean bad news for those worn out by the surge in Battle Royale focus. We'll see what 2018 has to offer, it's already shaping up to be one hell of a ride.