Decision to go free to play was made in last two weeks of development.
Since launching on September 26th, Epic Games’ Fortnite: Battle Royale has become a venerable phenomenon. It’s arguably more popular than PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, at least in terms of Twitch viewers and peak player counts over its lifetime, and has seen over 40 million downloads. However, it’s amazing how the mode was in development for only two months.
Epic’s Ed Zobrist revealed at a GDC panel (via PC Gamer) that Fortnite: Battle Royale had been in development right after the launch of Save the World. “We started working on this just about the time Save the World was coming out. Two months in development, launched in September 26. So let’s do some math: Save the World, the PvE game, launched July 21. [Battle Royale] comes out September 26.”
You’re probably wondering how the mode was created while the main development team focused on Save the World. As it turns out, some extra expertise was brought on, which also explains why the shooting is solid.
“It was the Unreal Tournament team that popped over to pick up the charge for us to basically put originally what we thought would be a PvP version inside our PvE game.”
Battle Royale and Save the World were meant to be packaged together with the former being an optional PvP mode and nothing more. The plan originally was to have Battle Royale behind the same $40 price tag. In the last two weeks of development, however, Epic decided to make it free to play and separate from Save the World. Zobrist noted that, “I doubt any major publisher could have pulled off this kind of pivot in the time we ended up doing it.”
Fortnite: Battle Royale continues to add updates like the new Blitz mode with shorter match times and additional loot, the recently added C4 Explosive and the upcoming Heavy Shotgun. What are your thoughts on the game thus far? Let us know below.