‘Fortnite’ Could Have Been Cancelled Before It’d Really Begun
Fortnite is one of the biggest games in the world today, thanks to its Battle Royale version. But long before it became a phenomenon loved by millions, when it was still exclusively planned as the co-op horde-survival-centric Save the World version, Fortnite could have been cancelled altogether.
Rod Fergusson, who's currently at The Coalition working on Gears 5, was director of production at Fortnite makers Epic Games until 2012. And while Fortnite had been revealed at the Spike Video Game Awards in 2011, it wasn't in the best of places.
Indeed, it was in such a state that Fergusson, had he stayed at Epic, would have pulled the plug - meaning we'd have never seen Fortnite when it came out in the summer of 2017, nor got its Battle Royale spin-off in September of the same year.
Speaking to Game Informer, Fergusson looked back on the project with matter-of-fact bluntness:
"If I'd stayed at Epic, I would have cancelled Fortnite. Absolutely. Before I left, I tried to cancel Fortnite. When it was just Save the World, it 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."
He added: "People look at me and say, 'Don't you feel bad?' I say, 'No, you should feel really good, because that game you love and that's a worldwide sensation would not exist had I stayed at Epic'."
Imagine: a world without Fortnite. No six-year-old kids in the park "taking the L". No flossing in playgrounds the world over. No Ninja, possibly. No stupid articles on tabloid sites talking about how video game addiction is as bad as a hardcore drug habit. Not even half the battle royale modes we've seen added to series like Fallout, Call of Duty, Battlefield and... Tetris. No Epic Games store to challenge Valve, and Keanu Reeves would not be known as, ahem, "The Fortnite Guy".
What the heck would we even write about? So cheers, Rod, for not cancelling Fortnite.
Featured Image Credit: Epic Games