Because Epic actually gives a crap.
This season Fortnite added a no-build mode. Starting as a mandatory game mode and now existing as an optional playlist mode just like Team Rumble, no-build Fortnite is something a lot of people have been clamoring for pretty much since Fortnite released. A lot of people. More people than you could fit in a battle bus. A ton of people.
From a business perspective, there was nothing forcing Epic to compromise their vision by implementing no-build mode. The game still rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars, has an enormous player base, and continues to pump out content on a weekly basis. Fortnite would not have suffered without a no-build mode. But it had everything to gain from a no-build mode. The people who didn’t get invested in the game, or those who didn’t play at all, because they couldn’t compete with someone building the Sistine Chapel in two seconds flat. Fortnite has been updated numerous times to give tools to level the playing field between builders and non-builders. But this is a great way.
And it’s made me think of the MMO devs we’ve seen here who died on their stupid, ignorant hills. Predominately I’m referring to developers of hardcore PvP MMOs who balked at the requests of potential customers to implement PvE servers as an option. Take Wild Terra 2 for example; Wild Terra 2 serves to lose virtually nothing by implementing a PvE server. It only stands to gain in the form of the now 300 post-long thread in the forums petitioning for such a server by players who decided not to buy the game without it.
But they won’t, and that’s why Wild Terra 2 hasn’t broken triple digit concurrent players in over a month. The folks at Juvty Worlds are complacent with dying on this hill and telling people your money’s no good here while their ship sinks around them. And it’d be one thing if the game was booming, but for so many of these titles that isn’t the case. Even Rust, a game centered around loot and general toxicity, allows players the option of PvE servers.
Granted, there is the very high probability that adding a PvE mode is a rotten idea, and players will realize that without the potential for getting ganked and losing all your stuff that these games kinda suck. They tend to rely on players being the content because the developers have barely made any themselves and without open world PvP fights a lot of these games would barely qualify as complete products or beta releases.
But what do I know, I had candy for breakfast.