Games Don’t Need to be Consistent to be Good

The biggest surprise for me in this PUBG vs Fortnite controversy are the criticisms that the mode doesn’t fit Fortnite, and is tacked on. It surprises me because it’s coming from a lot of people whose opinions on games I respect, but I think making that argument relies on a faulty assumption.

See, I agree with the assertion that it isn’t a natural fit, but disagree that that’s a criticism. The assumption is that it matters for a game like Fortnite to be consistent. To broadly generalize, there are 2 types of video games: works of art, and products. Of these two, it’s art games that are primarily concerned with thematic consistency. The integrity of the creative direction comes before trying to appeal to the largest audience possible, and sometimes even how enjoyable the experience is. But for a game that is a product, the order is reversed.

Fortnite is a product. If a change to Fortnite would make it appeal to more people while sacrificing some thematic consistency, making that change is valid, and likely correct.

Keep in mind that most of the criticisms I’ve seen over consistency make no mention of the quality of the game experience. If the lesser consistency harmed the play experience, that would be another matter entirely. But many criticisms are standing only on the mode not fitting with the original game. Using this logic, we should also condemn Call of Duty’s zombie mode, Dawn of War 2’s last stand mode, and Hearthstone’s brawls. All of which have been very successful, and popular additions to their respective games.

It seems ludicrous to suggest that Fortnite’s battle royale mode could be a bad thing for the game unless the mode itself is bad.

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