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A Fortnite respawn van appears near the volcano.

The advent of Fortnite’s Season 8 has brought some pretty cool things. The new tropical biome is great, the lore is interesting, and cannons are a fun way to move around the map. It’s also clear that Epic is working on something different, and they’re testing the waters with the v8.0 release.

Hop into replay mode and you’ll notice something strange. Mysterious vans dot the map. Looking at several clues it’s easy to assume that these are prototypes of an upcoming respawn function. The vans are a blatant clue that the community would quickly notice. A sure-fire way for Epic to stir up speculation. You can bet they’re watching the response closely.

A Fortnite respawn van appears in Happy Hamlet.
Credit: Epic Games via Fortnite Bunker

The Way Things Are

Adding the ability to respawn teammates would be the biggest change to Fortnite’s meta since release, and it’s simply not needed. Yes, Apex: Legends has a respawn function. Epic is clearly watching Apex. The release of v8.0 brought us the pinging system, a clone of the one in Legends. But, Apex has already peaked, and Fortnite’s classic formula has propelled it to be the most successful video game of all time.

“But, Apex has already peaked, and Fortnite’s classic formula has propelled it to be the most successful video game of all time.”

When I say classic formula, I mean the basic way that the game operates. Epic adds new items and mechanics all the time, and they’re easy to pickup and use right away. Most of the time, these items spice up the game play and keep Fortnite fresh. It’s amazing how often Epic can inject new ideas into the game, and it shows in Fortnite’s seemingly unending popularity.

A Fortnite respawn van located near Dusty Diner.
Credit: Epic Games via Fortnite Bunker

Welcoming New Players

Adding respawns into the game is a monumental change. Fortnite, just like any other game, depends on a stream of new players to maintain it’s dominance. The current state of the game already slants towards skilled players, as it should be. But, adding a respawn ability into the game would unnecessarily complicate things. It adds a layer of complexity for new players that could be used elsewhere. It also prevents breaks. If I’m playing squads and get eliminated early, I want to go make a sandwich. A respawn system might keep players like me from taking needed breaks during a 4-hour Fortnite marathon.

Every game adds mechanics over time that complicate the game and create new challenges to keep it interesting. So far, Epic has walked a fine line that somehow keeps the game fresh but also welcoming to the inexperienced. Respawns could be the first step in the wrong direction.

“If I’m playing squads and get eliminated early, I want to go make a sandwich.”

Let’s make something clear, Fortnite is the most successful video game of all time and faces no current threats from gaming industry. Apex stormed the gaming scene with a brilliant marketing ploy by EA, and it’s popularity has clearly taken Epic by surprise. But, Apex is already showing signs of cooling off. As of this writing, Fortnite had double the viewers of Apex on Twitch. When it released, Apex dominated Fortnite for weeks on end.

A Fortnite respawn van located on top of Polar Peak.
Credit: Epic Games via Fortnite Bunker

Everything Happens For A Reason

Fortnite’s success as a whole, is due to Epic’s brilliance. They’re always listening to the players, and if a suggestion makes sense it will surely make it’s way into a future release. They also, on the other hand, resist whimsical demands in favor of the long-term health of the game. That’s why we don’t have a ranked mode, because Epic knows that it’s introduction would split the community. Epic has done a lot of things right, and copying other games that come and go in a matter of weeks isn’t one of them.

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