Epic Games' Fortnite has been out for a while in paid Early Access, but hasn't quite taken off in the same way that, say, Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) has. The hot new indie "battle royale" title has a massive, rabid user base and an impressive sales record. It even knocked perennial chart-topper Dota 2 off the Steam charts - an impressive feat, indeed and one that developers like Epic and Rockstar are keen to reproduce.
Now, Epic Games has revealed its strategy to compete with PUBG via a standalone title set in Fortnite's cartoonish, building-focused, zombie-infested universe. The new game, Fortnite Battle Royale, will arrive on Xbox One, PS4 and PC on September 26th, too, beating out PUBG's late-2017's console release date. Better yet, Battle Royale will be free to play.
Battle Royale will dump up to 100 players into a large Fortnite map, complete with the game's recognizable building and weapon crafting systems. The last person standing after a (hopefully) endless stream of mayhem will be declared the winner. You don't need a copy of the original game to play, either, which could encourage a ton of players to opt into the Fortnite universe.
Epic Games promises that it won't sell items to give anyone a competitive advantage in Battle Royale, either. "At some point in the future," writes the company, "we will sell other things including cosmetics or compendium-like content." The team also notes that Battle Royale will include squads, available on launch day, and that it's working on improving the feel of "combat, controls, weapons, movement and inventory." In addition, Fortnite itself will get some new updates like "Block Party" mode and some "spooky October content."