Fortnite is having a rather tremendous second wind at the moment. While previously the biggest game on earth for a spell, over the years, its popularity had fallen from its all-time highs, its relevance not quite what it once was. But the last month has changed that. The release of “OG” map Fortnite surged the game to record playercounts once more. Its Chapter switchover The Big Bang even drew the most concurrent players the game has ever had.
But even if the OG card is one you cannot play too many times, what comes next may be even more interesting. That would be today’s launch of LEGO Fortnite, which may sound like yet another IP collaboration like we’ve seen from countless movies, shows, video games, celebrities and brands, but it’s something quite a bit different.
What’s important is what LEGO Fortnite is not, and that’s just a variant of the battle royale game or creative mode with building blocks and minifigs. Rather, LEGO Fortnite is being launched as an entirely separate game, one that takes Fortnite into the survival genre. Crafting, chopping, mining, blocks. You probably see where this is going.
Fortnite is launching a direct competitor to Minecraft, Microsoft’s juggernaut that has sold more copies than any other game in history, 300 million, dwarfing even Grand Theft Auto 5’s 190 million (albeit at a much lower price point). In hindsight, Microsoft’s $2.4 billion purchase of Minecraft’s Mojang in 2014 was one of the smartest moves in industry history, and the series is a cultural staple and a literal key part of childhood for many of its young fans.
Challenging such a monolith may not seem like a wise idea, and yet if any game has the potential to do so, it’s Fortnite by integrating this LEGO partnership into this concept. Fortnite is one of the most popular games of the last decade. LEGO is one of the most popular toy brands…ever. A combination of the two into a coherent competitor to Minecraft could be exactly the type of surge Epic needs to actually start shaping the metaverse it’s always promised (along with the LEGO launch, racing and music worlds are coming as adjacent “universes” within Fortnite).
It has been easy to feel like Fortnite has been stuck in a bit of a rut for a few years now, but it’s clear that during that time, they were working on this “new era” for the game, which at this point, does not actually seem like hyperbole. Between the gameplay of Fortnite, the branding power of LEGO, the legacy of Minecraft and the attention of thousands of influential content creators, if they nail this launch, it will be an enormous success story. If not, I suppose it’s a colossal waste of time. But I don’t think that’s how this is going to go.
The LEGO Group, a Danish manufacturer of construction toys, announced the release of a new partnership game: LEGO Fortnite. The game looks to take on Microsoft’s gaming empire, which includes the widely popular Minecraft title.
LEGO Fortnite is a collaboration between the LEGO Group and Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite. The game combines the popular Fortnite gaming world with the classic LEGO construction sets. Players can build all types of structures, from castles to trees, and battle with virtual weapons. Players may also create their own custom characters, including LEGO minifigures.
The LEGO Group is looking to capitalize on the success of Fortnite and Minecraft. The company is targeting younger players who are attracted to the world of gaming and building creativity. LEGO aims to attract kids with an immersive approach to play where online gaming meets classic building sets.
LEGO Fortnite looks to become a big hit among younger players; however, only time will tell if it can stand up to the overwhelming popularity of the Microsoft titles. Microsoft’s Minecraft franchise has become an empire, reaching more than 176 million players in 2019. With Fortnite having over 250 million players in 2020, the competition for the gaming market may be even more fierce.
Nevertheless, LEGO Fortnite has a chance to gain a foothold among younger players who are looking for a new and unique way to play games. It will be interesting to watch how the game performs and whether the LEGO Group can dethrone Microsoft’s gaming empire.