What would our present culture be like without all the Fortnite references? Turns out there’s an alternate timeline where this is the case. Why did a developer who was overseeing the game nearly cancel it?
That developer was Rod Fergusson, currently working on Gears 5 for XBox. A couple years ago, he served as production lead at Epic Games, where he oversaw the development of Fortnite…and he wasn’t pleased.
This was back when Save The World was the game’s only mode. It launched to a muted response from the gaming community and feedback was that the progression system was irritating. Fergusson confessed to Game Informer during a video interview that “If I had stayed at Epic, I would have canceled Fortnite,”
“When it was Save the World, that was a project that just had some challenges. And as a director of production at the time, that game would not have passed my bar for something we should continue to keep going.” He confirmed once more, with a chuckle, “That game you love, that worldwide sensation, would not exist had I stayed at Epic.”
We know how things actually turned out: Epic added a free battle royale mode and the game blew up, ultimately being played by a paunchy Thor in Avengers Endgame. Would battle royale be as huge as it is now without it? Actually…probably. Battle royale was already rising by the time Epic made its decision — that’s why it happened in the first place. If Fortnite had been shut down, PUBG would have still been there, and if PUBG didn’t take the top crown culturally, something else would have.