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An ex-producer from Epic Games made a stunning claim in an interview on The GI Show. Rod Fergusson, who worked as executive producer and director of production at Epic Games until 2012, revealed that he had Fortnite nearly canceled. The game that has gone on to dominate esports and garner a fanbase of millions almost didn’t happen.
During the GI Show, an interview panel run by Game Informer, Ben Hanson hosted Fergusson along with Game Informer senior editors Imran Khan and Ben Reeves. Over the course of the interview, they thoroughly covered Gears 5, Fergusson’s newest endeavor in his current role as studio head at The Coalition.
Naturally, Fortnite came into conversation as Fergusson left before the game blew up into the success that it’s known for now. Fergusson was there for the beginnings of Fortnite, before the words “battle royale” came into play and the game only had its PvE Save The World mode. Fergusson said people most often ask him if he is sad or disappointed that he left Epic Games before all of the success of Fortnite came to light, and explained why that’s not the case at all.
“The questions I get are the, like, ‘Are you disappointed you left when you did? Because you could have been, had you stayed at Epic, man, all the success you’d have had if you’d stayed at Epic.’ But I go, ‘No, you guys should all just be kissing my feet,’ and they’re like, ‘What are you talking about?’ I was like, ‘If I had stayed at Epic, I would’ve canceled Fortnite.’…Before I left, I tried to cancel Fortnite.”
Fergusson went on to explain that when Fortnite was just Save The World, it had numerous production challenges. As the director of production at the time, Fergusson said the game in its state at that point would not have passed his bar to keep investing time and effort into. So, Fortnite fans can still thank Fergusson for Fortnite, just not quite in the way they might think.