I was talking to Jeff Kalles, who you might remember as Jeff No-Magic from Acquisitions Incorporated, about it yesterday. The man is a Project Manager just, like, in his blood, and to hear him tell it managing the kind of seismic success a game like Fortnite is experiencing is an incredibly sophisticated challenge. There’s always gonna be the “Good problem to have,” wink-nudge contingent, and certainly it can be effectively argued that wealth is superior to destitution. No doubt a tasteful chart would help drive this point home: the bars could be made up of, like, dollar bills or something. The one for Destitution could be very small, only a few pixels in height.
But the manic pace of the updates was always going to result in an algae bloom type scenario. Personally, I like this mad energy. As somebody who makes things I want to know that people who share this drive are able to transform this opportunity into a canvas where this desperate energy - and I mean that in the best possible way - has a venue of expression. But that doesn’t mean that every idea is good for the game. Hearing that the guided missile was on time-out made me happy because it indicated that it’s not simply raw inertia over there, even in this heady context, somebody’s still driving even if it means curating out a feature that has delivered untold viral reach.
But yes, success as disease. Compared to their initial contemporaries, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds was ridiculously responsive - and then they were alone, functionally without equal, on a high roost atop a spur of volcanic rock. PUBG’s own explosive success created the preconditions for what looked like lethargy externally, particularly in the face of a ravenous young competitor. Their response was a fair bit of time coming, but it’s begun to reflect a new dynamism from philosophical shifts in the collapsing circle to entirely new modes with respawns. There’s enough room for both of these games and they’re making each other better every day.