On the heels of Bluehole (makes of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) making some accusatory remarks at Fortnite, Epic Games has announced that Fortnite Battle Royale is free for everyone starting today. But only the Battle Royale mode – the main co-op game (called “Save the World”) remains in paid Early Access with a 2018 release date.
Fortnite launched earlier this Summer via Early Access on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The final game will be free-to-play with microtransactions. It combines tower defense with third-person action and up to four player co-op (read our preview of Fortnite).
The PvP Battle Royale mode was a free update to Fortnite earlier this month. It’s designed exactly the same way as PUBG. Up to 100 players begin with nothing but a pickaxe and drop out of a plane over a large island. You have one life to run around, find loot, and kill (or avoid) other players while a shrinking circular zone keeps you moving. Building walls and forts is available, though you find weapons and traps instead of crafting them.
Recently Bluehole Inc made a firm statement noting the similarities between Fortnite and their runaway success, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. PUBG has reached a level of indie fame previously seen only in titans like Minecraft. The latest numbers show it has sold over 10 million copies. It is firmly entrenched as the number one played game on Steam, with over a million players online at any one time.
PUBG is currently only available on PC, whereas Fortnite is available on consoles. PUBG is coming to Xbox One later this year. Both titles are still in Early Access.
Opening up Battle Royale to everyone also comes with a new update to Fortnite. Most importantly this update will add Squads, letting friends form allied teams of up to four players. Other updates include new weapons and UI enhancements.
Fortnite is due to launch in 2018.