As Time Goes by, Fortnite Will Receive More Content
The idea of a shared sandbox survival with the ability to build and personalize forts, apparently, drew a lot of attention. In their effort to step back from triple-A games and create a unique, fun experience, Epic Games delivered all of the above in Fortnite. What they didn’t expect was its instant success. According to latest tracking numbers, Fortnite has sold 1 million units.
The developer went on to say that Fortnite is on track to become their most successful game by the end of 2017. Since its Early Access launch in July, the multiplayer title has gained a lot of attention. Epic Game’s Tim Sweeney confirmed as much in an interview with Gamesbeat.
“It’s on track to be Epic’s most successful game ever by the end of the year. Several times more users than we expected came in. We had to really scramble to keep the servers running at that scale. It was a great experience. This is just the very beginning. We have a bunch more game modes coming, which should be interesting and innovative. The whole aspect of building in Fortnite creates a really different dynamic compared to most games. Building structures, defending them, you can imagine all the multiplayer implications.
“We’re very happy with the transition we’ve been making, from being a lone developer who works with a publisher and puts games on retail store shelves to running our games live as services where we can constantly improve the game based on feedback. It’s been a great step. Fortnite is getting better every week.”
Success could not come with a little bit of risk, however. According to Sweeney, the cost of developing Fortnite was much greater than the first Gears of War. Triple-A gaming, as a whole, has become more expensive, and it has influenced Epic Games targets the market.
“Much more expensive. What we saw over the last generation — the economics started out incredibly attractive. The first Gears of War game cost about $12 million for Epic to make and earned us more than $100 million. But by the end of that generation, the costs had blown up to almost equal the profit a game could make. At this point, in this generation, I don’t know how you make a game at the triple-A level unless you sell 12 million copies or more. The teams are hundreds of people, sometimes more than 1,000. Budgets are more than $100 million, sometimes several hundred million. The scale of sales needed to justify that is crazy.
“We need to be constantly exploring business models that work. As the industry evolves, business models change. Epic’s survived through a number of different ones over our history, from shareware to PC retail to big-budget triple-A console and back to indie, publishing our own games for ourselves. You have to constantly change the rules.”
In speaking about indie development, Sweeney couldn’t help but praise Ninja Theory’s Hellblade for being such a stunning title. In case anyone forgot, Ninja Theory developed Hellblade to be a triple-A experience, yet they managed to do so without a publisher. Looks like Epic Games is on the track to even greater success.