Epic Games’ former production director tried to cancel Fortnite in its early stages of development—and says the game “would not exist” had he stayed at the company.
Rod Fergusson, now the head of Gears of War developer The Coalition, left Epic in 2012. He “tried to cancel Fortnite” before that, back when it was still just a concept, and he told Game Informer he would’ve again tried to cancel it before the development team added a battle royale mode.
Fortnite initially released with a co-op zombie shooter mode called Save the World in July 2017, and Epic added battle royale in September 2017.
“If I stayed at Epic, I would have canceled Fortnite,” he said:
“Before I left, I tried to cancel Fortnite. When it was 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…That game you love, the worldwide sensation, would not exist had I stayed at Epic.”
Asked whether he “loses sleep” over the success of Fortnite, Fergusson said he was “super happy for [the team’s] success”.