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Simon Deloit January 18, 2019 3 min read
Epic Games Say No More Game-Altering Updates During Major Competitions
- Following the ill-timed introduction of the Infinity Blade and the Boom Box, Epic Games vowed not to repeat the same mistake again
- Players will be given sufficient time to adapt to new patches before participating in official tournaments
Epic Games have issued an official statement promising to schedule updates outside major competitive events, prompted by backlash from community and professional Fortnite player Ali ‘Myth’ Kabbani from Team SoloMid (TSM).
Updates – A Good Marketing Tool
Epic Games, the creators of the hugely popular battle royale, Fortnite, have been using tournaments as much as an honest opportunity for professional players to shine as they have monetized on the buzz building around competitions watched by huge crowds.
Go back to the beginning of December, and the Infinity Blade was all the rage. Quite literally at that, with professionals and regular players openly voicing their unhappiness with the newly introduced one-sword-to-wipe-them-all concept.
Some called this an act of “trolling”, with Epic Games trying to save face by introducing slight tweaks to the potent piece of digital steel:
We’ve fixed an issue that was causing the Infinity Blade to grant +100 HP on elimination in Explorer Pop-Up Cup, rather than +50 HP. Eliminations with the Infinity Blade in the Explorer Pop-Up Cup will now only grant +50 HP.
No amount of patching seemed to work, though, as the community kept drowning in the chaotic mess of matches that followed the days of the Infinity Blade’s arrival.
Some even suggested that Epic Games was doing it on purpose. The company had a different take on things, citing the dynamic nature of the game, which meant that new game-changing updates will be introduce repeatedly.
It’s important to note that we consider Fortnite a dynamic, evolving game that is not restricted by competition. We feel that a player’s ability to adapt is a skill set we wish to highlight for an entertaining product.
The community had little choice in the matter, with some still professing their love for the Infinity Blade while most professionals raised a sceptical eyebrow.
The WSOE Fortnite Debacle
Later, on December 30, the World Series of Esports (WSOE) event featuring Fortnite took place. One might have thought that Epic would change their tune, and that was somewhat true. The introduction of the Boom Box caught the community unawares.
The Boom Box wasn’t all that of a rare item either, placed all over the Fortnite map. What it did was to bring sonic destruction, demolishing buildings at one targeted gust of sonic misery, bringing the house down, as it was.
Fortnite players immediately expressed their vexation with the completely game-altering format. Ali ‘Myth’ Kabbani was among the first to speak about breaking a major competitive update in mid-competition, calling the move “shit”.
For those that can't read it. pic.twitter.com/aNbL1oyszm
— Myth (@TSM_Myth) January 17, 2019
It wasn’t until yesterday, January 17, that Epic issued an official promise to never introduce any game-changing updates on a short notice, or not such at least, that would completely upend the known gameplay.
There seems to be little doubt why Epic Games were introducing such items around the time of competitive events – marketing. However, not giving players sufficient time to adapt to changes puts the integrity of such events at a risk.