Report: Epic Games Considering Always-Online for Fortnite

Online-always single player games haven't really ever worked out. In the case of Ubisoft, online-always has been imposed on some of its game in the past as a form of DRM, a nightmare for gamers who don't necessarily have access to good internet connection. Diablo III is another recent reminder of the problems associated with online-always games. Besides the tumultuous launch that made Error 37 a meme, some players still have issues with lag that make even the single player experience unplayable.

PC gamers, you might be in for some more bad news.

Epic Games's PC-exclusive Fortnite may end up an online-always experience. In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, Fortnite producer Tanya Jessen explained that the game may end up being online-always, not as DRM mind you, but to improve the game:

"That’s something we don’t know yet," Jessen said. "It’s gonna be really dependent on gameplay, and it’s also dependent on platform – the method of getting updates and stuff like that. So I can’t say for sure today one way or another [whether or not we're going to use it]."

Jessen goes on to say that Fortnite is a game that's being developed as a co-op experience and that that's their number one focus.

"This is a game you’re gonna want to play with your friends, and it’s most fun with your friends. So whatever we decide to do there is gonna be more relevant to the most fun experience you can have with your friends [than it is to piracy]. But I can’t nail that down today."

Though online-always for Fortnite is merely a consideration, the fact that Epic wants to shape it into a co-op experience (a phrase that's been thrown around quite a few times when describing Diablo III) makes it seem a likely course of action. Hopefully, Epic takes Diablo III's example into mind when tying up loose ends with Fortnite.

Update: Epic has said it hasn't entered serious talks about the implementation of online play and that nothing has been decided just yet.

"We’re not talking about our plans at this time, mainly because that plan doesn’t exist yet," the company told Rock Paper Shotgun. "Fortnite is an iterative, living project and many things are still being decided prior to its release in 2013."

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  • aggroboy
    For a PC exclusive, it has to be online-only, or everybody will pirate the heck out of it.
  • thecolorblue
    FAIL - terrible idea
  • dheadley
    PC gamers have as a whole done this to themselves.

    I know there are a lot of people that actually buy games and never pirate them. I myself have a steam account with over 300 games on it and my son has an account with over 100 of the same games even though he could use mine, but he is getting ready to graduate hs and move on to college.

    But I also know we are the exception and not the rule. I have had friends that have pirated games since the days of DOS and BBS's and my sons friends constantly tell him to torrent one game or another.

    In the near future I would expect that all media, be it games, music, movies etc. will be streamed in at time of use or require a connection to run. It really is the only way that any of these industries can recover even a fraction of their earned compensation. You wouldn't expect a plumber or electrician to go to travel around to a million homes doing work and only get paid at 25% of them or even 50% of them. Yet all you have to do is read any message board for gamers and you will see that they truely believe that game publishers and developers should be happy with that same 25% and they made their money on the game etc. The truth is they are thieves same as the punk addict that robs the corner gas station.
  • tomfreak
    cut the mega million marketing budget, stop selling game @ $50-$60. Sell @ $5-$20.

    Low Price is the only way to stop pirate, no other way. Always online game is gonna make people play casual free game. Free games are good enough these days, no reason to pay an always online game only to get Error 37.
  • I have been buying games since the 90's I purchased all things quake and UT ETC. I have a steam account and have purchased many games. However, I am really big on the idea of LAN. I used to live in an area with great broadband. I now live in an area with CRAP broadband and suffer most of the time. Most of the new games require internet connections for LAN. I recently have pretty much stopped purchasing and playing games, I am just sick of the way gaming has been driven. Less options for the end user. I have paid dearly for games I expected to deliver such as RAGE and it was terrible. Now I can go buy it for 8 dollars but I spent 60. Shame on me for believing in some of the companies I have trusted so dearly over the years.

    A former avid gamer
  • IndignantSkeptic
    I don't really care what Epic do. I won't be playing this game. We've been complaining so long about PC games being held back by PS360 hardware tech level and what do Epic do in response to that? well they apparently make a game that is instead held back by tablet hardware tech. On top of that they basically say that that is our beloved Unreal Engine 4 for us. Well screw you back Epic then. I'm going to switch support to Crytek; they seem more honest about wanting to push technology forward.
  • Raid3r
    dheadley, I am actually glad your kind of thinking is becoming the exception. "Pirate" onward folks; btw, dirty names won't change innovation.
  • Bloob
    Learned my lesson from D3; no more always-online DRM fro me, no matter how much I trust the company.
  • rmpumper
    "Report: Epic Games Considering not getting any sales for Fortnite"
  • It will improve your gaming experience tremendously!

    We won't just give you a 2ms lag, we'll give you 200!

    We won't just give you 5s load times, we'll give you 50!

    You won't just walk to where you are going, you'll TELEPORT there!