In what many consider a long-overdue move, Fortnite has addressed concerns about the newly released B.R.U.T.E. vehicle. While some appreciated the transparency by Epic Games, the blog post was considered by some a slap in the face, as one of the world's most popular games doubled down on what may be its most controversial addition.
Earlier this week, Fortnite released patch v10.10, intended to correct some of the issues that players had with the powerful B.R.U.T.E. Among other changes, the update adds a targeting laser to provide clarity for all players involved in a confrontation with a mech, allows users to enter the vehicle with a glider deployed, and drops spawn rates in Arena and Tournament game modes. Even with all of the alterations, players continued to voice their concerns, which led to the blog post on Thursday.
The producers of Fortnite stated they have seen the B.R.U.T.E. discussions on social media, which have taken on a life of their own with the Twitter hashtag #RemoveTheMech. They go on to say that the mech was added as a way for novice players who have difficulty facing more experienced gamers to feel like they have a chance to be competitive in matches.
Epic went as far as to describe statistics from Season 10 that indicate their strategy with the mech is working. "The B.R.U.T.E. was added at the start of Season X with this mission in mind," the statement reads. "Since then, we have seen players who had previously struggled with getting eliminations acquiring more, while the number of eliminations earned by more experienced players remained steady."
Also included are two graphs that provide a peek behind the curtain in regard to just how effective the B.R.U.T.E.s are. The first one indicates the average number of kills the mech gets in every game mode, with Duos, Squads and Team Rumble being the highest with just over six kills a game; solos come in next, with about four eliminations coming from the B.R.U.T.E. per match; and Arena Trios and Arena Duos hold steady with just under one kill. The next graph gives players a look at the percentage of kills per game in each mode came from the mech. As one might expect, the numbers are low, with the highest being Duos at around 5 percent.
While these stats could make some believe the concerns about the mech have been blown out of proportion, it didn't stop users on social media from ripping into the post. "Getting your first win is awesome. Not wrong," wrote Fornite YouTuber Muselk. "But what MAKES your first win awesome is the struggle it takes to get there. Not just spamming missiles while hiding inside a 1000 HP robot."
Following the release of the post, several Twitch streamers who primarily play Fortnite on the platform have decided to move to Minecraft until the mech situation has been resolved. Others have embraced the B.R.U.T.E. by showing just how overpowered the vehicle is. TimTheTatman recently posted a clip to Twitter in which he turns off his monitor while inside a mech and then eliminates four opponents without being able to see the conflict. His teammates could only laugh as he wreaked havoc.
With much of their professional community upset at the current state of the game, Fortnite is at a crossroads. In the past two years, Epic has cemented itself as the gold standard of gaming companies by allowing their players to dictate the narrative. When the community voiced their concerns about the Infinity Sword, it was swiftly removed and only came back sparingly in limited-time modes. Many have called for the same thing to happen with the B.R.U.T.E., but Fortnite has stood firm on the subject to this point. So, as many of its most rabid fans flock to other games, a change will have to be made soon to save one of the world's most popular games from becoming a thing of the past.
Fortnite is available across multiple gaming platforms, including Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows, Nintendo Switch, macOS, iOS and Android devices.