Epic announced at tonight's Video Game Awards that a new mode is coming to Fortnite Battle Royale, a 50 v 50 grudge match. When you join the servers you are split into one of two teams and the game only ends when all of one team are dead. Another twist on this new mode is that it’s only temporary: on December 17th Fortnite’s 50 v 50 mode will evaporate into the digital ether.
While most of the game is Battle Royale as you know it, according to Epic’s senior systems designer Eric Williamson, the large team aspect leads to a very intense endgame. “You have a lot more players involved in combat,” Williamson tells me over Skype. “We've seen some huge forts being built up. It's really impressive. It's a different kind of intensity compared to what you get out of solo and squad play.”
To avoid griefing, there’s no friendly fire in these games and every player on your team will be marked with a green chevron floating above their heads but besides that the game plays much the same as the other Battle Royale modes Fortnite offers.
The mode came together very quickly as the team began working on it. Taking them “about a month or so” to develop, Williamson says. It’s part of a new kind of experimentation that Epic plan to continue in the new year. “We're thinking about it as an opportunity to try different things and explore the space and be a little more willing to try different and more creative things that might not fit in the core Battle Royale experience.”
Though, Williamson admits “If the 50 v 50, or any mode, becomes popular we can certainly consider it as a permanent edition. Our goal for now is to try out different ideas. Our core gameplay - solo, duo, and squad - we think of that as the meat and potatoes.”
Fortnite’s 50 v 50 mode will go live as soon as the VGAs have ended and will fun until December 17th. If you want to give it a play then be sure to hop in before it disappears.