Fortnite has grown to be such a widespread, global phenomenon (both in and out of the gaming realm) that it’s hard to imagine it not ever happening at all. Oddly enough, that’s exactly what would’ve happened had a former Epic Games director had his way — according to comments from the former director of production at Epic Games, Rod Fergusson. The current head of the Gears 5 studio “The Coalition” said that he actually tried to cancel Fortnite before he left the team for other opportunities elsewhere … and if he had stayed, he absolutely would have done it, but not for the reasons you are probably thinking of right now.
Fergusson spoke to Game Informer about his time with Epic Games in his previous role and divulged some details on what he thought about Fortnite at that time in his life. He said that he definitely would’ve canceled the game had he stayed there, and he tried to do so when he had that role at Epic. Fergusson said the game didn’t pass his bar for something the team should’ve kept pursuing at the time.
“If I stayed at Epic, I would have canceled Fortnite. Absolutely,” Fergusson told Game Informer. “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.”
One (if not THE) important detail that you have to keep in mind regarding Fergusson’s comments is that the Fortnite he would’ve canceled wasn’t the same version of the game that everyone knows of now —. the one with a Battle Royale mode. Fergusson’s comments pertain to the Save the World version of the game, which is not the version that anyone who’s only remotely aware of Fortnite will know of. People who play the game or followed its development will know that the co-op, PvE-focused Save the World was the main game in the beginning before the Battle Royale component was ever released as a secondary mode. Had Save the World been canceled though, it’s quite likely we would’ve never seen the Battle Royale game that became so popular all over the world.
There certainly has been a bit of a ripple effect (aka a butterfly effect) had that been the case. Thinking about it is sort of eye-opening too, when you look at the scope of it all. Other Battle Royale games might’ve not ever existed either (or at least wouldn’t have come out so quickly) and cross-play between the PlayStation 4 and other platforms might still be up for negotiations had Epic Games not pushed talks forward. Again, for all we know, they could have never happened.
Gears 5 is the game Fergusson is working on, which thankfully shows no signs of being canceled since the September 10th release date for the Xbox One was confirmed. I think I speak for everyone here at GamingLyfe — we wish him and his team nothing but success on the upcoming title’s release.
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