Fortnite might actually be playable this year, cross your fingers (but do not hold your breath)

By Brenna Hillier
2 March 2017 00:51 GMT

Fortnite, a game expected to reach open beta in 2015 and still not there yet, may be playable this year.


Fortnite, for those of you who don’t remember, was the first new game Epic announced since Gears of War. It was a cartoony looking survival combat affair where teams would scavenge the world for resources, construct forts and traps, and then survive an assault of monsters that arrives with nightfall.

According to PC Gamer, Epic’s Tim Sweeney told GDC 2017 audiences that Fortnite will ship this year. On the other hand, Polygon has a more conservative estimate from Epic, saying that a Fortnite beta is due “by 2018”.

These two statements aren’t incompatible; although historical performance from this game makes us cynical, of course Fortnite can hold an open beta and ship sometime in the next nine months – that’d be a perfectly reasonable window for any normal project.

We were all very excited when Fortnite was announced in 2011, but it’s been so long, with little news over the years, that Epic is frequently asked if Fortnite has been cancelled.

We were promised a Fortnite beta in 2013, but that didn’t happen, and things went so quiet we’d sort of forgotten about it when Epic suddenly started talking again – and talking about it so much that Fortnite was a GameInformer cover story in 2014.

Later that year an alpha ran for a fortnight, and a second alpha followed in March 2015. We rubbed our hands gleefully. “This is it,” we said to each other. “Beta is coming. And then release. Fortnite is happening.”

But of course it didn’t (although Paragon did), and that was the last we really heard of Fortnite until GDC 2017 this week.

We have perfect confidence Epic can deliver Fortnite this year. Whether it actually will, though – that’s another question. Fingers crossed, eh?

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