Seasons Greetings from the Games Industry

We are quickly approaching the time of year where we see popular games taking advantage of the festive season to release new updates alongside cosmetics and potentially limited time game modes.  Three of the most popular multiplayer games have already announced their updates for this month: Fortnite, Overwatch and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. 

It’s important for multiplayer games to capitalise on December and stay relevant throughout the Christmas season as statistically it’s the highest grossing month for cosmetics and game passes.  By February last year, Forbes claimed Fortnite had already made $126 million since Christmas.

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Overwatch has begun their holiday season by announcing the Winter Wonderland update which is set to kick off on December 11th. On their Twitter the publisher posted the release date, alongside a teaser video including some of the most notable heroes featuring Zarya and Tracer with what appears to be winter themed skins for the characters.  Overwatch posted several tweets, each with a different skin for a different hero which we can assume will be obtainable by opening loot boxes with a rare chance to win the skin.  We can expect the Winter Wonderland update to include several other skins for all the heroes.

Fortnite has just released their own Christmas update in the form of their Season 7 update on 6th December. The popular battle royale game has once again altered their map to fit the festive season as ice plains, snowy biomes and frost covered trees fill the map.  There are name changes for certain areas of the map like Frosty Flights and Polar Peak.  However, the most notable update for Season 7 is the additional of X-4 Storm-wing planes which players can take for a ride across the map in the skies.  The aircrafts prove useful in multiple ways, helping players to get around the map quicker, but also come with weapons to shoot down other planes or take aim from the skies at enemies on the ground.

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The update also includes the implementation of zip-lines which adds a new way for players to move around the map.  All these updates were included in the official Fortnite Season 7 Trailer uploaded to YouTube.

As we can expect, there will be new skins coming to the Fortnite item store, so far the only skin announced is Sergeant Santa.  Seasonal skins are the rarest of Fortnite skins as they are only available for a limited time and do not pop up in the store more than once.  Interestingly last year’s Christmas themed skins are the rarest skins, only being released once and hold a heavy resell value across third party marketplace sites, where players often list their accounts which has these skins on for sale at a high price.

Outside of all things Christmas, Fortnite has added a whole new creative mode that gives each player their own island which can be customised.  This has attracted a lot of attention from fans across social media as it gives players a new way to battle privately with friends, however they want to, alongside choosing items at a press of a button.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has joined in with the festive season as players can now grab themselves the Festive Beanie with Pom Pom, along with a Red Nose, simply by logging into the game during the season event this month.  You will be given the items to wear for December, but if players want to carry the items over then it gives them the option to make them permanent in their inventory.  The update states: “Place in the top 10 of any map or non-custom game mode ten times during the event and you’ll get permanent versions to wear all year round”.  The update also includes purchasable themed items in the store, Santa’s beard for 10,000 BP – only available to players for a limited time.

Thomas Wise

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