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Fortnite at E3 2018: What to expect

Epic Games and Fortnite have a lot planned for E3

Fortnite - woman looking at a glowing cube Epic Games

This is going to be Fortnite’s first year at E3, after becoming the cultural and financial force it has grown into across the past year. Fortnite will have its own booth at the show, a live event and a party, but what will all this mean for everyone who isn’t at E3 next week?

Fortnite could be coming to the Nintendo Switch

Rumors abound that Epic Games will use E3 to announce that Fortnite is coming to Switch. Based on how well the game works on iOS devices, a Switch port should be not only possible, but also really fun to play. Data miners are making it look like this is pretty much a sure thing.

The portable nature of the system may make the Switch port the best way to play the game when you’re away from your traditional console or PC. It would be simple to set up an impromptu Fortnite LAN party with friends due to the popularity of the Switch and the fact Fortnite is free-to-play. There’s even a possibility that it could launch during the show. The announcement seems like a sure thing, but an instant launch is a long shot

Fortnite might finally get an Android release date

Speaking of portable Fortnite, E3 would be a good time to announce a release date for the Android version of the game as well.

A good chance for competitive Fortnite to shine

There will also be a live Fortnite tournament on Tuesday, June 12, featuring piles of the game’s biggest streamers and a selection of mainstream celebrities. You can watch it just about everywhere:

“50 pros and 50 celebrities pair up to earn the ultimate Victory Royale — $3,000,000 in charity prize money that they will donate to their charity of choice,” The Fortnite team states in the official post. “The winning duo will receive $1,000,000 in charity to split!”

Expect this to be a big deal: this is one of the first big Fortnite tournaments that brings together this many well-known players and celebs, and the prize pool is pretty extensive as well. Combine that with the fact that Fortnite streaming numbers are huge in general, and it’s hard to say just how big this event could get in terms of concurrent viewers. Expect Epic Games to crow about the numbers very soon after it’s over.

The Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am pairs some of the biggest streamers with a series of well-known celebrities and athletes
Epic Games

We also know that Epic Games has been working on Fortnite’s replay functionality specifically to get ready for the Pro-Am at E3. I can’t wait to see what the improved tools look like, and how well Epic is able to present the game in that setting while keeping the action easy to follow for everyone watching at home. Making sure a game with 100 players per round can be spectated well is a big challenge, and this may be one of our first looks at how prepared Epic Games is for the challenge.

What does this all mean for Fortnite?

E3 is a strange environment for Fortnite and Epic Games since the title has grown so large organically among the fans. Patch updates and news go straight to the community through the game’s Twitter feed and Reddit posts, and the game’s developers often seem too busy making the damned thing on a week-to-week basis to find time to talk to the press about it.

But E3 does give the title the opportunity to take a victory lap after dominating pop culture so thoroughly in the past few months, and bringing the game to more platforms while showing off how Fortnite could look as a serious esport will only improve its popularity.

Fortnite doesn’t really need to be at E3, nor does it need specific attention from the press. But Epic Games seems to have a solid plan for using the show to continue growing the game while making sure as many people as possible can play on as many devices as possible. Shockingly enough, it looks like Fortnite is only going to get bigger.

And who knows? Maybe the hatch will open.