How Epic Made Fortnite Battle Royale so Quickly

How Epic Made Fortnite Battle Royale so Quickly

If it seems like Fortnite Battle Royale appeared overnight, that's because it practically did.

When PUBG started popping up in every headline late last year, it was only a matter of time before another battle royale game rose up to challenge it. It's safe to say PUBG's number-one competitor-nay, threat-is Epic Games' Fortnite Battle Royale. What started as a building / shooting game built around a single-player experience has since become a household name that receives shout-outs from celebrities. And it all seemed to happen in the blink of an eye, which is exactly what Epic wanted.

Earlier today, Gamasutra published a Q&A with Fortnite's design lead, Eric Williamson, and its producer, Zack Estep, to talk about how Epic flipped Fortnite from a moderately popular single-player title into one of the hottest games of 2018. The gist: Epic kept its wishlist for Battle Royale as trim as possible while building the mode.

"We wanted to create Battle Royale in a relatively quick timeframe," Williamson tells Gamasutra's Dante Douglas. "One of the things that we intentionally said upfront was that no one's on the team's allowed to say, 'what if.'"

What does that mean, exactly? "[B]ecause our timeline was so short, and we wanted to create a playable version immediately, it wasn't 'hey we could do all these crazy things', it was 'what can we do, and how can we get it done as quickly as possible.'"

If you build it, they will die.

Williamson admits the rush to get Battle Royale out the door resulted in a lot of features and ideas getting cut-for now. "As we continue to update and iterate on the game, we're adding new items, new systems, new consumables, etc," he says. "Those are some of those ideas that we had way back of like, 'hey what if we wanted to do something like that?'"

Throughout the rest of the Q&A, Williamson and Estep talk about fan reception, and how it's been incredible to watch those fans make full use of Battle Royale's building mechanic even though matches tend to only last about 18 minutes. We have our own tips and tricks on how you can build the best, most efficient buildings to keep you safe and help smite your enemies in Fortnite Battle Royale. You'll want to go over it before Fortnite Battle Royale comes to iOS and Android. Unless, of course, you're a dedicated member of team PUBG. If you're currently trying to complete the weekly challenge, you might want to look at our Fortnite Ice Cream Truck Locations guide.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve,, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Read this next

Fortnite Bat Statue, Way Above-Ground Pool, Seat for Giants Locations

Here's how to find the bat statue, above-ground pool, and the seat for giants in Fortnite Battle Royale.

New Fortnite Patch 10.20 Adds a Powerful New Trap and Brings Back the Floating Island

Also, creative mode gets prefabs for a prison and a toilet factory.

Fortnite Players Wish They Could Take Pricey Skins for a Test Drive

Would this try-before-you-buy fan suggestion juice skin sales or save players their V-Bucks?

Fortnite Gets a Borderlands 3 'Mayhem' Crossover Event

And the new patch 10.20 is out right now.

Epic Isn't Budging On Fortnite's Mechs, Despite Player Protests

The massive machines of destruction seem like they're here to stay.

Fortnite Memorial to a Cube - How to Visit a Memorial to a Cube in the Desert or by a Lake

Here's our guide to the Fortnite cube memorial locations, within the desert and by a lake.

More News

Overwatch's Bastion Gets an Adorable Lego Skin for New Event

Just be careful you don't step on him.

Anthem Transitions to Seasonal Updates as Future Looks Murky

A new update from BioWare makes Anthem's future seem up in the air.

Tetris 99 Will Dole Out Super Kirby Clash Currency in a Nintendo F2P Mash-Up

Two different Nintendo approaches to free-to-play are going to #linkandbuild.

More Battle Royale Games

Highly Ranked Apex Legends Players Will Get Their Own Trail, so You Know Where Not to Land

At least you'll know if you're landing next to an Apex Predator.

Apex Legends Is Teasing a Reveal In-Game, Coinciding With This Weekend's Tournament

We might get our first details on Season 3 during this $500,000 invitational.