Fortnite was close to never happening.
Epic’s massively popular battle royale game, which pits teams or players against each other in a free-for-all until one team or player is left standing, was almost canceled before it had a chance to become the juggernaut it is today.
Rod Fergusson, the former director of production at Epic Games, tried to cancel the game when he was still with the company. The battle royale component that has driven the game’s success was not yet part of the game when he was with Epic, and he said that the project “had some challenges.”
“If I stayed at Epic, I would have canceled Fortnite. Absolutely,” Fergusson told Game Informer at the gaming convention, E3 2019. “Before I left, I tried to cancel Fortnite. When it was just ‘Save the World,’ that was a project that had some challenges. As the director of production at the time, that game would not have passed my bar for something we should have continued to keep going.”
“Fortnite: Save the World” was released in July of 2017, and it is a third-person shooter game that has players play together to collect resources, build fortifications and fight off waves of enemies.
However, when “Fortnite Battle Royale” launched later that year in September, the game really started to take off, and it has now become a worldwide phenomenon.
Fergusson left Epic in 2012, and the game was not released until 2017, so the game undoubtedly changed drastically in that time.
Luckily for the gaming world, Fergusson left the company before he could shutter the project.
“That game you love, the worldwide sensation, it would not exist had I stayed at Epic,” Fergusson said.