I seriously didn’t expect to be writting such an editorial piece… again. You see, when Epic Games announced that they were developing a PC game, we were delighted. Like little kids, we imagined a new Unreal Tournament game or a triple-A FPS/third person title that would push the graphical boundaries. In fact, after both Unreal Engine 4’s and Unreal Engine 3’s demonstration, we’d expecting for something mind-blowing. A Blade Runner game, powered by Unreal Engine 4? Who would say no to that? Fast forward a couple of months and here we are today, with Epic Games finally revealing the game that will be coming exclusively on the PC.
And this game is no other than… Fortnite. Bet you’re laughing like crazy, right? Well, this is not a joke. In Comic-Con, Epic Games has officially revealed that Fortnite will be the first Unreal Engine 4 game and that it will be coming exclusively to the PC. Moreover, Mike Capps confirmed that Fortnite is the game he mentioned in the GDC Europe keynote last year. No Samaritan-like game, no next-gen Unreal game. Just… Fortnite.
Back in January, we wrote an editorial about why Fortnite should not come to the PC. We don’t know whether Epic Games read it and decided to troll us or not, but we still believe that Fortnite should not be coming to the PC. You see, we love experimentation but Fortnite is a casual game that is trying to take advantage of Minecraft’s success. Sure, the marketting team will throw everything they’ve got to make you believe that this is a unique experience but let’s be honest here – Fortnite is a casual and not a hardcore game. Epic Games is trying to get a hold of casual PC gamers – and those addicted to both Minecraft and Terraria – and, ironically, there are already (and still coming) more of this kind of games from small devs. Truth be told, those indie developers do not come close to Epic’s budget, meaning that Fortnite will be advertised to hell and back but do we really need a game like Fortnite from a company like Epic?
Moreover, Mike Capps and Cliff Bleszinski stated in GDC that the PC exclusive game – that Epic Games was creating – was a PC focused title. Excuse me Mike and Cliff, but that’s half the truth. The whole truth is that you’re creating a casual PC game that is not addressed to your hardcore fans, the fans who have been waiting for Epic Games to push the graphical boundaries and offer a truly triple-A title. Moreover, Fortnite was originally a multi-platform title and we bet that its main platform back then was X360. And although we want to be optimistic about it, we find it hard to believe that the company discarded all its previous plans and decided to start over and focus on the PC platform.
Furthermore, we can’t see why Fortnite should be using Unreal Engine 4. Given its casual nature, Epic will target a large number of PC gamers. This means that the game won’t be demanding at all. To put it simple – Fortnite could be easily an Unreal Engine 3 game and nothing more. However, Epic Games is playing its cards cleverly and tries to hype Fortnite. It’s clever and will be enough to get everyone’s attention.
It’s also a fact that Fortnite won’t be pushing the graphical boundaries and it’s a fact that it won’t resemble at all the Elemental Tech Demo, a tech demo that has shown us what Unreal Engine 4 is capable of. Artistically, the game might look amazing but when it comes to raw power and technical features, this won’t be the title that will make you upgrade your graphics card, even though the first screenshots are quite good. But then again, last year’s debut trailer looked as good as the latest screenshots and ran on Unreal Engine 3.
Epic Games had shown with both the Samaritan and the Elemental Tech demos that they can produce something beyond awesomeness. And that would be the best way to win the PC crowd back. However, it seems that the company decided to abandon any ‘true’ triple-A plans for next-generation consoles and offer PC gamers a title that should be normally coming from Popcap or Rovio.
And since some of you might not understand a thing of what we’re talking about, imagine this: It’s 2013 and X720 hits stores. Everyone is amazed about its specs and Epic Games releases a tech demo to showcase its graphical capabilities. You’re drooling all over the place and can’t wait to get your hands on it. Suddenly, the studio announces that they’ll be developing an X720 exclusive title. Given its history, you expect it to be something along the lines of Gears of War. And then, out of nowhere, Epic Games offers you a shiny pinball game – because pinballs are always cool.
John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities. Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved - and still does - the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the "The Evolution of PC graphics cards."