Fortnite finally leaves Early Access nearly three years after launch

It took nearly three years, but Fortnite is finally shedding its Early Access label.

Fortnite‘s Battle Royale, Creative, and Save the World game modes are all leaving Early Access, Epic Games said on Tuesday. Fortnite launched on July 25, 2017 and has been regularly updated with new features, skins, and characters. It has also attracted more than 250 million players.

Epic also said that Save the World, a far less popular PvE mode than Battle Royale, will remain a premium purchase going forward instead of converting to a free-to-play option.

“Since the launch of Save the World’s Early Access period, we’ve added a vast collection of unique Heroes and Schematics, an overhaul of the Front End and Hero Loadouts, a weapon recombobulation system, a climactic narrative experience, and more that has shaped Save the World into a massive-collection-RPG experience,” Epic explained.

The company said Save the World’s main story is now “complete” and that it will slow down its development of new content for the game mode.

Epic said back in 2018 that it would convert Save the World to a free-to-play game in 2018. However, by the end of 2018, Epic reversed course and continued to require players to pay $40 for the Fornite Founder’s Pack to play Save the World.

To seemingly quell criticism from players who had expected the game to go free, Epic said Tuesday that anyone who bought a Founder’s Pack would automatically get their packs upgraded and all rewards unlocked at no charge. Those who own Fortnite’s Ultimate Edition are getting the Metal Team Leader Pack and 8,000 V-Bucks free of charge.

The Metal Team Leader Pack is a new addition to the game that comes with a new hero, the Papa Bear weapon schematic, and Metal Team leader challenges, among other features. It costs $20 for those who don’t qualify for the freebie.

Looking ahead, Epic said it’s working on a new Fortnite feature called Ventures. The company will have more to share as development continues but said Ventures will be “season-long excursions,” featuring a variety of challenges players will need to overcome to find new weapons and earn rewards. Epic didn’t announce a launch date.

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