Epic’s Fortnite enters early access in July

Epic Games today announced that their base-building zombie apocalypse looter-shooter Fortnite [official site] will enter paid early access on July 25th. It will eventually launch as free-to-play in 2018 but, if you want to team up with your chums to scavenge, build bases, and kill zombies now now now, you will be able to pay to start before the game is finished. If you don’t want to, hey, no one will force you to buy it. (Will they? Are they? Are you safe? Double-space your comment if you need help.) Before that, check out this new trailer explaining what Fortnite is about:

So! There are zombies. You are not a zombie. The zombies want to eat you. You do not want to be eaten. So you gather resources, build bases, craft traps and weapons, and kill zombies. With your chums, if you’d like. It looks a bit like an arcade-y 7 Days to Die.

Our professional acquaintances at Eurogamer recently played a bit of Fortnite and came away less than impressed.

“Alongside turret defence it’s also a third-person shooter, and a melee action game, and looter, and builder, and so on forever and ever. Play however you want is the well-intentioned philosophy, but it’s sadly misguided. Games you can play however you want are completely open – imagine if Minecraft only gave you rigid, prefab walls and ramps for just one type of castle, instead of its flexible barebones blocks. Fortnite, by contrast, is a conglomeration of other games and their accompanying rules and systems, awkwardly stuck together. There seems to be a misplaced hope that adding more features, mechanics, and curated playstyles will also add more flexibility, but it does the opposite. I feel like in playing one way, I’m funneled into the other, because of a belief that all of these different games are fun – and so they should all be in this game together, at the same time.”


If you want to pay to play early, packages with access and gobs of microtransaction doodads start at £35 and go up to £125. People who pre-order packages will get access from July 21st. Yes, early access to a game in early access does seem silly.

Epic first announced Fortnite way back in 2011. People Can Fly came onboard later after Epic bought the Bulletstorm studio. People Can Fly did keep working on it after regaining their independence but I’m not sure how involved they are these days. Oh! If you didn’t hear the news, PCF are working on an unknown game with Square Enix.


  1. Williz says:

    Wew lad that’s expensive, I’ll wait…

  2. Freud says:

    It’s looking good. Probably not a rabbit hole I will jump down. I’m getting a Orcs Must Die vibe from it, with a bit of open world and base building.

  3. JakeOfRavenclaw says:

    Is that Ashly Burch on the narration? Seems like she’s everywhere lately (which is great!)

    Also, lord, 2011. No wonder if feels like I’ve been hearing about this forever. I quite like the Saint’s Row-style aesthetic, so here’s hoping it turns out well!

    • April March says:

      Is it? I thought it was very good, but I also thought that after her recent big roles she’d be overkill for this kind of ‘speak very excitedly about our game’s features for six bloomin’ minutes!!!’ work.

  4. DingDongDaddio says:

    Didn’t expect to see this game pop back ever again. The concept sure excited me back in 2011, but we’re quite a ways off from that now. This game was piggybacking ideas that weren’t even new in 2011 and now with an extra 6 years of seeing shit just like this come out time and time again… bleh.

    On top of that, a $40 fee to test the beta for them? Gosh, where do I sign up!?

    • Zunalter says:

      I had exactly the same reaction. Until I saw this article I was resigned to the fact that this game was vaporware. Now, reading over the Eurogamer notes, I almost wish it was.

      Though, on the flip side, Early Access at least gives the potential for it being polished up into something playable. Though maybe Epic will just cash in on Early Access money and let it die on the vine.

  5. skyturnedred says:

    Can’t wait for the hero shooter fad to end.

  6. GameCat says:

    So, 6 or more years in development and they will release it as early access and then f2p?


  7. Turkey says:

    Seems like sort of a relic in the age of Plunkbat. I’m sure it’ll be successful, though.

  8. Bforceny says:

    I think they had a teaser for this game 5 or 6 years ago. I was super excited back then, but it was before the whole genre had developed and now they’re behind everyone. The excitement has died now and instead of talking about an original game, I’m wondering how it compares to the other two dozen similar titles already on the market at a lower price. This game will be mediocre, I know this the same way I know service will be long and the waiter short in a restaurant that has a “Help Wanted” sign in the window…

  9. Lobotomist says:

    Its misleading false advertisement.

    This is not open world, or persistent survival game like “7 Days to Die”

    It is basically “Orcs Must Die” with zombies, and fort building instead of just laying traps.

    Its instanced missions on 20 minute timer. Where first 10 minutes you wander the map, collect loot and build fort/traps. And second 10 minutes is zombie horde attack, where you have to survive until the timer gets to zero.

    After that its back to server browser to start again from zero and look for another game.

    • Frank says:

      I watched the same advert as you and I see the thing you are describing, so I’m not sure where it’s misleading. Pretty obviously not an open-world survival game…

  10. EDPVincent says:

    So, after leaving paid Early Access,it will become a F2P? When did it become ok paying to betatest a game?

    • April March says:

      I could make an Early Access joke, but let’s face it – EA just codified something that games had been doing more and more at the time it came out.

      The correct answer: the first time someone wanted so much to play a game that hadn’t come out yet, that they decided they would pay money if they could gain access to the broken build that existed at the time.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Serrit says:

    I’m  absolutely  fine,  honestly.  No-one’s  forcing  me  to  buy  anything!

  12. April March says:

    Wow. I thought this had come out ages ago and flopped.

  13. isolatedRay says:

    Is it going to be on steam or on that epic games downloader that you access the beta from?

  14. elvirais says:

    As someone new to that genre of games, what would you recommend? I’d be very interested in an actual open world survival game with base building.

    • irongamer says:

      It is not open world. I’m more excited about 7dtd Alpha 16. Which makes me sad, the beginning of Fortnite really had my hopes up. It then devolved a mobile booster pack treadmill. =(

  15. irongamer says:

    I love the levels, loot, breakable everything, and listening for secrets. Don’t care for the tower defense much. Won’t be buying it due to how items are gained in a very mobile game like fashion. Really wanted this one to be great.