Epic Games, in an attempt to explain why it had not removed the B.R.U.T.E. vehicle from Fortnite, said it wanted anyone to feel like they could win—even if they’re not good.
Yesterday, the Fortnite developer, possibly feeling the proverbial heat from the #RemoveTheMech movement and general player unrest, posted a blog post addressing the mech. But no real solution was offered, and the response actually made things worse. Instead, Epic said Fortnite’s mission is to “bring players of all skill levels together to have a fun experience where anyone can win.”
The idea, while a nice gesture, is the antithesis of competitive play, especially for a battle royale. When a player defeats 99 other players, the feeling should be better than almost anything else in gaming. You just played better than nearly 100 other people.
But giving less experienced, less skilled players an overpowered mechanic or item to help them win waters down the euphoria of that Victory Royale. Epic’s failure to see that is baffling, as well as concerning for all players, but especially those who regularly compete in tournaments.
Competitive players typically want a large skill gap, and with the unique building feature in Fortnite, there is usually a noticeable difference between an experienced pro player and someone who just downloaded the game. But mechs, similar to the infamous Infinity Blade, make it so players don’t have to build, don’t have to use the regular weapons, and have an unreasonable amount of health.
Epic also said it wants to “provide spectacle and entertainment” while playing the game. But it’s blatantly obvious by the worldwide trending hashtag, general social media response, and players’ attempts to boycott the game, that the developer is falling short of its intended goal.
Fortnite, in its current meta, is certainly a sight to behold—and just not in a good way. The B.R.U.T.E. can single-handedly ruin games, despite Epic’s attempts in the post to show that mech kills are not all that common statistically.
The problem with Epic’s stats is that eliminations do not sufficiently show the total impact of the mech. While some players may not be killed by the B.R.U.T.E., they may have to spend hundreds of materials blocking its rockets, only to die to a third-party. Or maybe we should consider how they have to worry about a giant, flying, rocket-shooting robot that will undoubtedly change their playstyle.
And while Epic has lowered the B.R.U.T.E. spawn rates in Arena, players are calling for its removal, even if it’s clear Epic has no intention of removing it. In fact, this may be the strongest pushback from the developer that we’ve seen to date. On multiple occasions, it has had the opportunity to remove the mech and at least calm down its playerbase, but each time, Epic has gone a different direction.
Because of the developer’s refusal to budge, some streamers, most notably Ben “DrLupo” Lupo, Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, and Tim “TimTheTatman” Betar, have already begun playing other games. The three, along with Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, are some of the most popular Fortnite streamers in the world.
So if streamers switching games, or a trending hashtag, or player complaints haven’t changed Epic’s mind, that probably means we’ll have the mech for the entirety of Season X, which will likely end sometime in October. Good luck out there.