Is Save The World about to follow Paragon into the grave?
Fortnite launched in July 2017 as a multiplayer PvE shooter, a game mode we now know as Save the World. Since launch, the game has been expanded to include the massively popular Battle Royale mode. The original roadmap for Fortnite was for it to be a paid early access game at launch before eventually going free-to-play once developer Epic felt the game was ready.
But as the months have passed by, the popularity of Fortnite’s Battle Royale game mode has exploded beyond anyone’s expectations. With the success of Battle Royale in the spotlight, the future of the Save the World mode is becoming more uncertain with every update.
The official Fortnite subreddit has been Epics primary source of communication with the gaming community. With a convenient way to have their voices heard, players have been continually expressing doubts over the future of this game mode. In response to the community’s concerns, Epic has tried to assure players that there is a future for this game mode, stating “Save the World will definitely continue and we have more to bring you in the coming months. We’ve recently released some roadmaps with some upcoming content and additions we have planned.”
From the outside looking in, this sounds like a very promising statement to hear from a developer, but when you scratch beneath the surface, the reality is not so optimistic.
“All the cool new features, game modes, weapons and other gear are being released for Battle Royale”
The recent cancellation of Paragon, a free-to-play battle arena game also created by Epic, has triggered a lot of concern within the Fortnite community. Up until the announcement, Epic and the Paragon team were quite positive about the future of the game. A tweet made on the first of January 2018 on the official Paragon Twitter page reads “From everyone here on the Paragon team, thank you for playing and we’re looking forward to an exciting 2018! #2017bestnine”.
This didn’t sound like a developer worried its game is about to be canned. Looking at several other tweets leading up to the cancellation, it doesn’t look like the developer was expecting it at all. Some players have seen this as a betrayal and have come to question everything that Epic has been saying about the future of the Save the World game mode in Fortnite. This, of course, is not the only reason there is doubt about its future.
As an early access game, it is safe to assume that there are going to be plenty of bugs. Bugs that typically get patched through frequent updates. Looking back over the patch notes, it’s clear to see that Epic has been doing just that. It is great to see fixed bugs, but that’s not all Epic has been doing. All the cool new features, game modes, weapons and other gear are being released for the Battle Royale game mode. It seems as if suggestions for Battle Royale get considered and any suggestions for Save the World are ignored.
Since the game’s release, there have been several themed events, with the most recent being the delayed Valentine’s Day event, which caused a lot of frustration. These events seem to mask the lack of interest in the game mode more than enhance it. Simply typing “rant” into the search box of the Fortnite subreddit gives you an idea of the level of frustration that community has at the moment.
The Save the World mode works a lot differently to the Battle Royale mode. Rather than losing all your inventory at the end of a game, you keep it for use in the next game. Players have been expressing concerns with the UI and how difficult it makes basic tasks. Most of these, if not all of these concerns, seem to have fallen on deaf ears. A community post highlighting the issues has gained popularity with 187 responses to date. A post by a user named marrowak very clearly points out the problems and why they are not getting fixed. A glaring quote from this piece says: “the scope of the PVP player base absolutely dwarves the interests of PVE (rightfully so since its s**t), and it’s only logical that they feed their success and pivot their focus to the fortune that fell onto their lap. This makes a lot of players pessimistic about PVE being the best that it can be.”
This has hit the nail on the head. Battle Royale has blown up far faster and bigger than Epic could have possibly expected. Does it cut its losses and focus on where the money/momentum is, or does it stick to its guns and believe in the original vision? Based on the patch notes and more importantly the future plans for the game, it looks like the future focus is on Battle Royale. This post was made before Paragon was cancelled. Back when people were only beginning to put two and two together and see that maybe Save the World was not on Epics long-term development map. Now that people have begun to distrust Epics word, no one knows what to believe.
Looking at this situation analytically, I find it quite surprising that it has gotten to this point. A lot of it can be blamed on the lack of communication and transparency from Epic. It may have to keep its cards close to its chest, but it also needs to reassure the community that things are going as planned.
Having played the game at launch, I was incredibly impressed with the level of polish for a game that was still early access. Ditching this game mode would be an incredible waste of potential, but I feel I should emphasise the word potential. Save the World is not there yet, but it is also not very far from where it needs to be. The dev team just need to take some feedback from the community and begin to resolve the issues, something you would expect from an early access game.
It is very difficult for anyone to compare the success of Battle Royale to Save the World when one of these game modes can be played for free and the other costs £35 for the basic package. Perhaps the tables will turn when Epic release Save the World as a free-to-play game, we just have to hope it can survive long enough to get to that point.
Dan Hastings is editor of nerdburglars.net.