Chapter 4: Fornite
Startup Royale with Cheese
In the popular Battle Royale game, you face off against 100 players in a last-person standing free-for-all shooter.
With a twist— there’s a circle that closes in around everyone getting smaller and smaller, until you’re face to face with whomever is left standing.
Somebody always wins. Somebody always almost wins. Maybe 3rd place watches from a digital distance after being eliminated, having almost won, hoping whomever got them loses (or wins).
98 people absolutely do not win, and within minutes, losing players start dropping out of the game to join a new match.
98% of people don’t know what ends up happening because nobody waits to find out.
Have you seen little kids do that dance waiving their hands and crossing their knees back and forth? That’s Fornite and it’s universal from North America across all continents in the world.
Epic (makers of Fornite) were sued for copying dances from artists (which failed). You can buy these dances to do in-game as your character in Fornite.
Cosmetics & Emotes
In its first 10 months Fornite made $1.2 billion in revenue. In 2018 and 2019 they made $9 Billion dollars. Dr. Evil numbers.
Can you imagine Apple taking 30% of your iOS sales if you’re making $9 Billion dollars every two years?
$5.5 Billion in profits comes entirely from cosmetics & emotes, or the battle pass, which gives you access to these things.
These things don’t make you a better player, and they don’t help you win in-any way. For a free game, why wouldn’t you spend $40 to rock it out as Michonne from the walking dead?
You can even be Travis Scott for 1,500 V-Bucks. In fact, In 2020 over 12 million people attended a Travis Scott virtual concert inside of Fortnite. You can watch it here on Youtube if you missed out.
Edit: since then, Travis Scott has been removed from Fortnite, prompting a debate on whether public figures should be integrated into games like this, preventing possible back-peddling.
Some people play dress up, learn the latest dances, and enjoy life in a virtual world of their choosing.
Some people can make $9 Billion dollars and still be mad at Apple.
If you’re skilled enough, you can play the actual game and win 1st place. Or second place. or watch from 3rd place. Or drop into match-after-match chasing that win.
The one consistent variable is the circle getting smaller in thousands of Fornite matches, and millions of kids playing & competing, winning, losing, and having fun every day— not really thinking about this stuff.
Perspectives come in late
I’ve found 98% percent of the time, people have no idea why they’re doing anything, and almost exclusively, you’re playing in someone else’s game.
What’s important to me is knowing whose circle I’m in, what’s my end goal, and how real I’m being with my self.
The present me sucks at answering these questions, always stuck in the moment. Past me gives caution, reminders of mistakes and opportunities past. Future me’s don’t give the present me any immediate rewards, just promises of a better future.
And so it’s hard to listen to future me’s unless I can somehow live in their future, at the same time, with them.
And past me’s shouldn’t know better than present Me, right?
The kind of self-time travel needed to reconcile the realities in our mind, spirit and heart, past present and future, to find both motivation + belief in ourselves is hard to do.
To trust yourself without doubt.
It takes a lot of actual time & space to do, away from present people, places and things around us. Something we rarely give ourselves, stuck in a fast paced world in which the circle only ever gets smaller.