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Fortnite’s rise to gaming royalty came about thanks to Epic Games’ swift implementation of the game’s free-to-play battle royale mode, but the game didn’t start that way. At the core of Fortnite’s vision was its team-based hybrid of tower defense and wave-based combat known now as Save the World. While the mode hasn’t received anywhere near the fanfare as Battle Royale, Epic has continued developing and improving it. It looks as if the developer has hit a snag however as the Fortnite Save the World free-to-play launch will not arrive in 2018.
The delay was announced Monday by an update from the Fortnite team. The decision was made in order to give the development team more time to perfect the mode and better implement the large number of additions to the game over the last year ahead of the wide-scale launch any popular free-to-play title necessitates.
“We’re working on a broad set of features, reworks, and backend system scaling we believe are needed to go free-to-play … Scaling up for the legions of player heroes who will be joining the fight is key to providing an excellent experience. This applies to all of our players, old and new, so we’re taking the time to get this right,” the studio wrote.
The update outlined some of the changes the team is working on, including improved UI optimization, more Hero slots and improved character and loadout customization systems.
Epic isn’t letting players (even Elon Musk), both those already saving the world and those expecting to jump in for free, end 2018 empty-handed however. Players that already purchased or do purchase Save the World will gain access to two heroes, Brainiac Jonesy and Skull Ranger Ramirez, as free login bonuses during the title’s Halloween-themed Fortnitemares event, which begins on October 24. All versions of the game, including Founder’s Packs, will also receive a 50 percent price cut this week as a make good to prospective players wanting to jump in before the mode goes free-to-play.