Xbox executive Rod Fergusson nearly cancelled Fortnite before it even launched

Whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit that Fortnite has become a global phenomenon that most other game developers can only dream about. After all, Fortnite: Battle Royale was one of the major reasons why Epic Games earned over $3 billion in revenue in the year 2018. With such a popular and profitable crown jewel in Epic’s portfolio of intellectual properties, it may be difficult to imagine that anybody over at Epic Games would be opposed to releasing Fortnite but it turns out that the head of The Coalition – the studio that is in charge of the Gears of War franchise – tried to kill the game during its development.

It seems that Rod Fergusson recently sat down for a conversation with the fine folks over at Game Informer. At one point they discuss Fergusson’s time working at Epic Games and how he felt that Fortnite just did not live up to his standards. “”If I stayed at Epic, I would have cancelled Fortnite. Before I left, I tried to cancel Fortnite. When it was Save the World… that was a project that had some challenges. And as the director of production at the time, that game would not have passed my bar for something we should continue to keep going,” he said.

Fergusson ultimately did leave Epic Games and now acts as the studio head for The Coalition. His team is currently working on Gears of War 5 which will be their largest project yet. By the way, The Inner Circle writer Samuel Tolbert played that game’s Escape Mode at E3 and shared his impressions if you are curious to know more.

As for Fortnite, Epic Games provided constant updates to add new modes and improve the quality of the game. It can be argued that Fortnite has earned a place in video game history alongside other notable titles such as Tetris, Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros.. Fergusson bears no ill will towards the game or those who pay it, however. “So when people look at me and say ‘don’t you feel bad?’ I say no, you should feel really good because that game you love, that worldwide sensation, would not exist had I stayed at Epic.”

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