Former Fortnite lead dev talks about how live events were sacrificed to build a multi-game metaverse


As most people have now noticed, Fortnite has made some pretty sweeping changes, from a survival shooter to battle royale to a place where live events happened, right up to its most recent transformation into a platform of new games and different bespoke experiences. If you happen to be among those left wondering just what the heck happened to make the game move in this direction, there’s a new Game File interview with former lead creator Donald Mustard that sheds some new light on the whole deal.

The interview itself is regrettably paywalled, but thankfully some helpful Redditors have pulled together some of the better quotes out of the piece, including confirmation that a shift of resources away from live events and toward metaverse ambitions spelled the end of the former.

“By mid-2022, Epic was committing to build Lego Fortnite and Fortnite Racing, the new expansion of Fortnite into a proper multi-game metaverse that would go live in December 2023. ‘To build all this stuff, it takes so many people and so much time,’ Mustard says. ‘Basically, the event team was starting to be needed to work on other stuff. And it was devastating to me because I’m like, ‘This is actually the magic.’ And not everyone at Epic agrees with that.’”

Mustard also talks about the origins of the mascot character Peely, discusses the challenges he faced getting licensed characters into the game, and explained that he wanted to make the game feel like a place to hang out; the Season 21 theme of vibing, which ended up being the last season he oversaw, was something of a celebration of that mindset. It overall appears to be a pretty candid chat from disseminated accounts.

Just in case Mustard’s point isn’t being further driven in, the Fortnite amalgamation we now know has gotten plenty of updates: There’s now a filter to stop players from seeing “confrontational emotes” like Take the L or Whipcrack (that last emote has had more vile applications), rhythm game Fortnite Festival’s latest season will let players use certain guitar peripherals, LEGO Fortnite has farm animals now, Rocket Racing is dressed up in neon, and Battle Royale is collabing with Avatar: The Last Airbender for its recent season pass.

sources: Game File, Reddit (1, 2), official site (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
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