How the design of video games like Fortnite make them more addictive

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Part of the Battle Royale’s success hinges on creating a moreish gameplay loop where players drop into games quickly, one after another. Alongside this, the developer Epic Games is constantly adding new items and events to the game that offer fresh rewards to players.

Richard James, a lecturer in Psychology at the University of Nottingham, who has studied online gambling and gaming addiction, said that presenting players with a constant stream of rewards was an effective way to keep people playing.

He said: “There is a question with rewarding where it becomes addictive. The issue is that we know that constantly delivering of rewards can be quite addictive.”

However Mr James added that this area of gaming was relatively new and more work needed to be done on studying the long-term effects these mechanics have on players.

Lauren Foye, a senior analyst at Juniper Research, said for younger players the constant new content combined with the fact so many of their friends are playing also created a strong sense of FOMO, or fear of missing out, around Fortnite.

She said: “The format of the game is so engaging. You drop in, finish and then drop into another one.





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