The game once known as 'Fortnite' will not leave paid early access and launch free-to-play this year as planned, Epic Games have said. They've delayed Fortnite: Save The World's F2P launch as they want more time to make sure it's proper good and stable for the hordes of potential players expected to flood in when it switches. It did seem that Fortnite might vanish without a trace after its early access launch in July 2017, charging £35 to play the beta of a bland base-building zombie shooter, but then Fortnite Battle Royale hit and now everyone's heard of Fortnite. So there may be surprising demand for co-op PvE.
"We're working on a broad set of features, reworks, and backend system scaling we believe are needed to go free-to-play," Epic said in today's announcement. "Save The World has grown consistently since our launch in July 2017 and Fortnite overall has experienced unprecedented growth. Scaling up for the legions of player heroes who will be joining the fight is key to providing an excellent experience. This applies to all of our players, old and new, so we're taking the time to get this right."
They also talk about plans including revamping and rearranging menus, and overhauling the Hero (character/class) system "to offer a more flexible approach to customising your loadout with more options and room for creativity." Update stuff.
When Fortnite Battle Royale first took off, I half-expected Epic would ditch Save The World--like they did with Paragon (and largely Unreal Tournament too)--to put all its team on the moneymaker. But since Fortnite Battle Royale really really really took off, becoming the hot game seen everywhere from the playground to the Premier League pitch, it seems sensible to finish its cooperative companion game. A change of pace in a familiar game and a new place to sell hats.