Fortnite and battle royale genre overall has been and continues to be one of the biggest trends in video games over the past year. Now, gaming giant Xbox has responded to the massive phenomenon. Marketing boss Aaron Greenberg said in a new interview that Fortnite has not necessarily taken away players from other games, but instead helped grow the gaming business all up as new players come in to try out the battle royale game.
“We were watching for the impact: is this going to impact our other third-party partners? And we largely haven’t seen that,” Greenberg told MCV UK. “For the large part Fortnite seems to have been additive; it has definitely grown gaming. It’s a game that has brought a lot more people into gaming, and then the people that came in went and spent more time playing games.”
Greenberg added that “hardcore gamers” didn’t stop playing their favourite games to go spend all their time with Fortnite. Instead, what it did do was “take people who were casual or very light gamers and they’re now spending more time playing. It just brought a lot of new people, which is great, it diversifies the population.”
Greenberg said many of the gamers who came to play Fortnite are not what might be considered “core gamers,” but instead people who were looking to “spend time, and money, on entertainment.”
It could have been a new music album or TV show that caught fire and brought people to it, but instead it was Fortnite that became “that thing” for players.
Given the popularity of the battle royale genre–including all the money it brings in–the industry overall has seen a surge in new battle royale games. But will Microsoft ever join in with a game of its own? Greenberg said it’s an “attractive” idea, but added that it could be problematic to chase a pre-established idea that someone is already doing.
“The ability to get scale and to remove as many barriers as possible is definitely attractive, but you have to be careful about just focusing on a business model, as that alone doesn’t generate success,” he said. “If you take a paid game and make it free-to-play that doesn’t mean it will be more successful, in many cases it could ruin a game. You see how many people are trying to do battle royale right now.”
While Microsoft does not have its own battle royale game, there is always the possibility that an existing or new Xbox game adds a battle royale mode within the game. Mark Serrels of GameSpot sister site CNET would like to see Halo Infinite add a battle royale mode, even if the company has no plans for it as of yet.