Epic Games announced today that its cooperative sandbox survival game Fortnite is getting a Battle Royale mode on September 26, although it is available for public testing now. Fortnite is in Early Access for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
No, I’m not sure why an Early Access game needs a separate test for a new mode.
Battle Royale games have a large group of people (usually 100, as will be the case in Fortnite) running around a giant map and killing each other until only one remains. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the giant PC Early Access hit that has already sold more 10 million in about six months, has popularized the archetype. It’s been the standout game of the summer, and it’s rolling more hype right now than just about an triple-A release.
When Fortnite officially launches next year, it will go free-to-play. The Early Access version does cost money, and it already has more than 1 million players. This new mode could attract even more people.
Fortnite isn’t the first game to jury-rig a Battle Royale mode into its existing framework. Grand Theft Auto Online has introduced its own take on free-for-all open-world deathmatch. We’re likely to see this PUBG-copying trend continue.