Fortnite Season 6 pets ‘could expand game’s audience’

Fortnite pets Fortnite Season 6 pets 'could expand game's audience' Fortnite Season 6 pets 'could expand game's audience' 8e4aa6703eImage copyrightEpic Games

The introduction of three pets to the Fortnite game are not an attempt to squeeze more cash out of players, says one expert.

Instead IHS analyst Piers Harding-Rolls believes the goal is to attract more female youngsters to the title.

The three pets – a dog, chameleon and dragon – were unveiled as part of Season 6 of the massively popular game.

Players who buy a Battle Pass for 950 Fortnite’s V-Bucks (£8) get the pets as part of the bundle.

“I don’t see this as a money grab as it’s a cosmetic upgrade and optional, the same as all upgrades offered in Fortnite,” Mr Harding-Rolls told the BBC.

“Pets are a natural fit with the younger audience of the game and may entice more girls to play,” he said, adding that most players of the survival title are male.

Epic Games, which created Fortnite, may be looking to the pets to diversify that audience as it looks to keep the game relevant, he said.

“The way Epic has implemented pets – sitting in the backpack – offers another route to engage the user through an emotional connection without complicating the experience,” said Mr Harding-Rolls.

However, some gamers have challenged the idea that the pets would have any more appeal to young women than young men.

Skip Twitter post by @DMClaire

the pets are so cute but I feel bad shooting at anyone that is wearing one lol #Fortnite#Season6

— Claire (@DMClaire) September 27, 2018

End of Twitter post by @DMClaire

Skip Twitter post by @Kryptic_mG

Honestly with the pets in Fortnite….I don’t want to kill kids with Dogs on them

— KrypticAH (@Kryptic_mG) September 27, 2018

End of Twitter post by @Kryptic_mG

Elena Fedina, associate director of research at analyst firm SuperData there was no doubt that the pets would prompt players to buy the Battle Pass.

In the past, she said, popular cosmetic items had caused a significant spike in revenues adding that one of the “memorable” was the $20 (£15) Raven skin. That proved so compelling that Epic had to apologise for the issues it had processing payments for it.

“There was a 25% increase in players after the skins were introduced and a 33% month over month increase in revenue,” said Ms Fedina.

Image copyrightBlizzard
Image caption Pets have proved hugely popular in games such as World of Warcraft

School run

Season 6 of Fortnite, subtitled Darkness Rises, started on 27 September and introduced several other changes which include new “skins” for players, invisibility power-ups and alterations to the main game map.

Much of the attention in Fortnite’s new season was grabbed by the introduction of the pets, with many on social media pledging to buy a pass so they could get one of the digital creatures. The pets stay with players even if they are eliminated and “rezzed” out of a match.

Image copyrightTwitter

Everything did not go smoothly on launch day for Epic, which had to apologise for a brief problem with the processing of V-Bucks payments.

The game also attracted comment on social media, with the York Regional Police in Ontario urging people to be careful on the roads. It said the launch had meant many people left late for school and it asked them to avoid speeding to reach their destination.

Skip Twitter post by @YRP

Excersize patience on the roads this morning. Season 6 of #Fortnite was released overnight so getting kids out of the house on time is proving challenging for many this morning. If you’re running a little late, please don’t speed.

— York Regional Police (@YRP) September 27, 2018

End of Twitter post by @YRP

Parent Heather Busseri in the US noted that her child went to school wearing two different shoes and blamed Fortnite for the mistake.

Skip Twitter post by @BusRapHeather

The new season of Fortnite dropped today and my kid went to school with two different shoes on. Coincidence? I think not. #distracted#Ihatefortnite

— Heather Busseri (@BusRapHeather) September 27, 2018

End of Twitter post by @BusRapHeather

Others also commented on social media about how keen youngsters were to experience the new season.

Skip Twitter post by @RyanReynolds

My son got up at 4 a.m. to download the new season of Fortnite. I haven’t gotten up at 4 a.m. for anything that didn’t involve a job or a flight, ever.

— Ryan G. Reynolds (@RyanReynolds) September 27, 2018

End of Twitter post by @RyanReynolds

Skip Twitter post by @braxton_bmx

I wonder how many kids have told their parents they’re sick today hoping to stay home and play fortnite

— Braxton Baty (@braxton_bmx) September 27, 2018

End of Twitter post by @braxton_bmx

Skip Twitter post by @MalystryxGDS

Parenting is tough, but when I turn on the PS4 so I can update Fortnite for the new Season 6 patch before my son comes home from school so he doesn’t have to wait to play. I know I’m doing it right.

— Lawrence / Malystryx (@MalystryxGDS) September 27, 2018

End of Twitter post by @MalystryxGDS

Fortnite is regularly played by more than 75 million people around the world and is the most viewed game on streaming site Twitch.

One estimate suggested that Epic was making more than $100m (£76m) a month from the game.

Original Source