Gears Boss Rod Fergusson Would Have Canceled Fortnite If He Had Stayed at Epic Games
Not many gamers may be aware that Rod Fergusson, now the leader of the Gears franchise as Studio Head of The Coalition, worked at Epic for a very long time.
He is credited as Producer, Senior Producer or Executive Producer not only for the first Gears of War games but also for other Epic titles such as Shadow Complex, Infinity Blade I and II and Bulletstorm.
It stands to reason, then, that he would have had the chance to look at Fortnite while the game was still in development. Interestingly, in a video interview with Game Informer from E3 2019, Fergusson himself confessed a few days ago he would have wanted to cancel Fortnite and in fact even tried to do that while he was still at Epic.
Before I left I tried to cancel Fortnite. That game would not have passed my bar for something that should keep going.
Yeah, by leaving and saying 'It's all yours!'.
Needless to say, the whole gaming landscape would look very different today if that happened. The Battle Royale phenomenon had already been ignited by PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, but Fortnite itself fueled multiple initiatives by Epic Games, from the push for cross-play to the Epic Games Store and even the Unreal Dev Grants program may not have been massively expanded into the $100 million Epic MegaGrants program without Fortnite's war chest.
As you might recall, Fortnite struggled quite a bit during development and at some point was widely considered to be in development hell. The PvE mode, later renamed 'Save the World', launched in July 2017 to moderate success. However, it was the addition of the free Battle Royale mode that boosted the game's popularity to entirely unimaginable levels. The rest, as they say, is now history.