Epic Games’ cooperative “Action-Builder” Fortnite has been in development for years. It’s finally seen the light at the end of a lengthy tunnel. Fortnite has been given a release date of July 25, though with a major caveat. The version launching in July for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 will be Early Access.
Epic Games and publisher Gearbox are planning on turning Fortnite into a Free-to-Play title sometime in 2018. This would not be a unique shift, though it is unusual for a game to be planned to transition from paid to free-to-play this far in advance.
“We are about to enter into a new phase of development, where players can be part of the paid Early Access,” writes Darren Sugg on the official website. “It is our intent that Fortnite will evolve into a free-to-play title during 2018. However, we wanted to give people the opportunity to gain Early Access to the game along with exclusive stuff and in-game events that come with Founder’s Packs.”
Fortnite pits you and some friends against a ghostly horde. It’s a third-person action game where you can attack with guns, melee weapons, and abilities. You can choose between four different classes: Outlanders, Soldiers, Ninjas, and Constructors.
But the main selling point is being able to build your own forts. “Fort” may be underselling it as these are more like giant castles and fortresses. You appear to have a lot of freedom in how to construct your forts, including laying out traps like in Orcs Must Die.
With Fortnite’s Early Access release you are essentially purchasing a Founder’s Pack with the $39.99 Standard Edition. You’ll receive an exclusive Founders Piñata Pack as well as six Daily Loot Piñata Packs. Piñata Packs are Fortnite’s equivalent of random loot boxes. Also included is a four-day head start that lets you jump into the game on July 21.
If you want to spend more money, you can find Fortnite in a Deluxe Edition, Super Deluxe Edition, and Limited Edition. The Deluxe Edition costs $59.99 and will also be available as physical boxes in retail stores. In addition to the Standard Edition goodies, it comes with even more Piñata Packs, XP boosts, extra inventory slots, and hero and weapon packs. Click here for a full list of what each pre-order version contains.
Fornite Early Access begins July 25.