Fortnite Respawn Van Leak Teases At Further Borrowing From Apex Legends

TJ Denzer,

March 1, 2019 3:33 PM

Fortnite is teasing a "Respawn Van" mechanic, but is it trying to ape Apex Legends a little too much?

Fortnite was the most phenomenal gaming sensation for the better part of a year when its battle royale component launched. The game hasn’t really turned a corner and become bad, but with Apex Legends handily fighting it for the spotlight, it seems Epic has had to step up their game to keep up. It was pretty recently that Fortnite added a ping system to their game very similar to the one found in Apex, but the tease of a new “Respawn Van” shows Fortnite might be trying a little too hard to do as Apex Legends does in the battle for dominance.

It was on February 28, 2019 that a leak revealed the possibility of the Fortnite Respawn Van. In that leak, originally posted by Fortnite news and leak-centered Twitter, FortTory, files shown in screenshots that show something called a “Second Chance Van” in multiple files. It would appear that Fortnite was playing with the idea of adding these vans to the map, along with a pick-up on teammate drops that would act as a catalyst to allow them to be respawned at the Second Chance Van. This is, of course similar to the ability to pick up dead teammates banners from their Death Boxes in Apex Legends and take them to scattered Respawn Beacons on the map to bring them back into the game. There appears to be images of the Respawn Vans to go with the leak, as shown with the alleged files below.

As mentioned before, this isn’t the first time Epic would have looked to the mechanics of Apex Legends to improve Fortnite. Fortnite recently got a ping system, which was clearly inspired by Apex Legends. That’s all well and good because the ping system in Apex Legends is an amazing way to communicate needs, enemy presence, directions, and more to teammates in just the press of a button and every competitive team game ought to have something so intuitive. That said, does Fortnite really need to continue to pull mechanics from Apex Legends? Debatable.

It can be argued that Fortnite’s battle royale was built out copying a style that another successful game was doing. We should all remember the fierce debates about whether it was really different enough from Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and how that eventually led to a small legal spat taking place between PUBG owner Bluehole and Epic. Epic isn’t afraid to look to what works in other popular games and see if they work in Fortnite. That’s just the truth, whether it looks like copying or not.

It feels like forever ago since we saw the comparisons and headbutting against then-gaming sensation PUBG and the new Fortnite battle royale. Apex Legends vs Fortnite doesn't sound so different.
It feels like forever ago since we saw the comparisons and headbutting against then-gaming sensation PUBG and the new Fortnite battle royale. Apex Legends vs Fortnite doesn't sound so different.

Even so, it can also be argued at this point that Fortnite has grown its identity and personal brand so much that it really shouldn’t have to copy from other games so much, popular or not. The games creative blend of combat and building mixed with its cartoonish visuals have always been an addictingly charming factor to its success. Sure Battle Royale raised Fortnite to an insanely massive level in worldwide gaming with the help of celebrities like Drake playing and people like Ninja and DrLupo amassing an all-new swath of fans through the game, but none of it would matter if Fortnite hadn’t already been a pretty good arena to facilitate that growth. That leads us to believe that while Epic could draw heavily upon what works elsewhere, it doesn't need to, and especially not so much.

Apex Legends is amazing. It builds upon the battle royale genre just like Fortnite did when it first came out. With a mix of Overwatch-esque characters, strong first-person shooter mechanics, and a great battle royale structure, it’s not hard to see why Apex Legends amassed over 10 million players so quickly. And in turn, it's not hard to see why Epic would look at what works there and try to use some of those ideas themselves.

That said, Fortnite is still no slouch. It doesn’t have to imitate Apex Legends. The ping system was fine, but one who continues to watch Epic add Apex Legends features to Fortnite might wonder if they’re starting to just try to play keep up with their new contender. It would be a shame to see them just play keep up, rather than innovate on their style as they had for the better part of 2018.


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