We’ve had to wait a bit longer than two weeks for news regarding Epic Game’s Fornite, but the company is finally opening up about its upcoming shooter.
Epic is taking sign ups for a chance to participate in an early alpha test of Fortnite. The new title has players working together to gather scraps and other materials to build up a defensive structure during the day. At night, gamers blow away attacking zombies. Epic still isn’t talking about platforms or business models, but it is asking about free-to-play games in a survey that it has potential alpha testers filling out.
“A little over two years ago we introduced Fortnite via a short trailer at the [Spike Video Game Awards],” Epic PR manager Wes Phillips wrote in a blog. “Since then, we’ve been quietly working to make sure Fortnite is a great experience for players. We appreciate all of the interest and questions during that time and have been anxious to tell you more about our plans.”
The developer promises to reveal more information soon, and it says that it will start the testing phase in the coming weeks. As mentioned previously, when signing up for the test, Epic asks gamers a number of questions related to their habits. It asks for players opinions on titles like Minecraft, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and more as well as whether or not the gamer has spent money in a free-to-play game before.
Epic also announced that it plans to reveal more details about the game in an issue of the magazine Game Informer, which should start going out tomorrow.
As a developer, Epic is best known for producing the Gears of War cover shooters for Xbox 360. Fans of that series are especially looking forward to Fortnite, as it represents the company’s return to development. Since working with Microsoft and Epic subsidiary People Can Fly to release Gears of War: Judgment last year, the developer has sold the Gears of War rights to Microsoft. This also came after two of the biggest names responsible for creating Gears of War, directors Rod Fergusson and Cliff Bleszinski, left the company. Bleszinski is still on a prolonged hiatus from the industry, and Fergusson is now overseeing Gears of War at Microsoft.
Epic is also a technology company that produces the Unreal Engine graphics tool kit. It has long licensed that software to other developers who have used it to make games like Mass Effect, BioShock, and more. Fortnite is one of the first big titles to run on Epic’s upcoming next-gen engine, Unreal 4.
Finally, Chinese gaming company Tencent owns a large stake in Epic. Tencent also owns League of Legends developer Riot Games and a significant piece of Call of Duty developer Activision. In China, Tencent is even helping that company launch a free-to-play version of Call of Duty.