Fortnite Signals End of Console Generation

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Though exclusivity deals with third-party publishers once determined which console reigned supreme, it’s now rare to to see anything more than DLC stay loyal to one brand. This shouldn’t be a shocking statement, but games cost a great deal of money to make these days, and the cash Microsoft or Sony would offer to Ubisoft or EA to have a title only release on their respective console is just not worth it anymore.

Exclusivity now mainly exits in a first-party realm, which is exactly why today’s news that Epic’s Fortnite will only be seen on one platform came as a surprise. Sure, the developer’s smash hit Gears of War only releases on 360, but that launch title was introduced in a different era. This is 2012, so why keep your game from making as much money as possible on other devices?

The answer becomes clearer when you realize what platform Fortnite is releasing on, which is the PC. Epic’s latest IP focused on exploration, scavenging and survival will be the first game the team has crafted using Unreal Engine 4, and that fact alone leads me to believe this isn’t a case of just wanting to only see Fortnite on personal computers. This game, which will follow a beta model similar to that of the highly successful Minecraft, will be pushing technology beyond what the PS3 and Xbox 360 can handle.

We began to see games like Watch Dogs and Star Wars 1313 hint toward what’s to come from the next batch of consoles, and Fortnite is further proof that games are being actively developed for hardware we haven’t even glimpsed yet. Yes, a PC version is the prime concern at the moment, but a recent tweet from Cliff Bleszinski shows what’s being planned for the future.

All evidence points toward a holiday 2013 release for the next generation and by that time, the technology inside consoles will be advanced enough to handle a game like Fortnite.

The Minecraft model of consistent updates and a purchasable beta may be another argument for why Fortnite is only being discussed on PC, but it would be ridiculous to assume that Epic doesn’t want to place its content on as many devices as possible. For now, it just makes more sense for the team to invest in this new IP’s future; hedging its bets on what’s to come and not systems running out of steam.

Do you think we’ll see Fortnite on the PS4 and Xbox 720? Could it really just be a PC game? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

When not writing about all the latest and greatest happenings in the video game industry, you can find Josiah on PSN, XBLA or Steam (Lionheart377). He has a soft spot for classic, turn-based RPGs, but also spends a great deal of time jumping from platform to platform and shooting dudes in the head.