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'Fortnite': An Unconventional Launch


Ed Zobrist (Head of Fortnite Publishing, Epic Games)

Location: Room 25, North Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 21

Time: 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference - Get your pass now!

Topic: Business & Marketing

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Advanced

'Fortnite' spent over five years in development and after a long period of silence some wondered if it was still in development at all. On June 8, 2017, Epic announced 'Fortnite' would indeed be launching… in six weeks. On July 25, 2017, Epic Games launched 'Fortnite' as a paid Early Access title on XB1, PS4, PC and Mac. By August over 1MM people had played 'Fortnite'. Then on September 25th, Epic released the free 'Fortnite Battle Royale' mode. By December, over 40MM people had played 'Fortnite'. This lecture describes the unique challenges of launching 'Fortnite' and how Epic choose a launch plan that, while unconventional, was still consistent with core marketing strategies. It also describes the strategy and impact from adding a new mode, 'Fortnite Battle Royale'.


Through a real world example of how Epic Games launched 'Fortnite', attendees will hear and see the thinking behind when Epic chose to break from tradition and when Epic decided to follow normal launch practices.

Intended Audience

This is an advanced marketing lecture geared towards marketing, publishing and business professionals who have past experience launching AAA games or intend to do so in their career.