Fortnite boss Donald Mustard has discussed his plans for the next few years of the game’s story, which will continue to fold in elements from the Marvel universe.
Speaking about the game’s current Marvel-themed season on the official This Week in Marvel podcast, Mustard also discussed how he has “many, many, many years” of Fortnite storyline planned out, all of which the game is currently just three years into.
“The reason we called this season Nexus War is that this is just the start of lots of stuff we have planned for many years of Marvel integration,” Mustard said. “This is not the end, this is the beginning. We thought a really good POV-style character which could set this up [earlier this year] was Deadpool, kind of fourth-wall breaking. And then Cap in July, building up to this moment…”
Epic Games had planned the current Marvel season, which involves planet-gobbling comics character Galactus, since before the infamous “Zero Point” or black hole event last year which took the game offline and rebooted its map.
“We had this moment in Fortnite which happened around a year ago where… the Zero Point reorganised all the matter around the island and kind of created this new island,” Mustard continued. “That’s the moment that attracted Galactus. [He] felt this re-organising of reality and was like ‘huh, there’s this energy source at the centre of everything and if I can consume that, I can consume not just the Marvel reality but I can consume everything.’ “
Talking about the philosophy of Fortnite’s storytelling, Mustard spoke about how Epic Games treated its ever-changing island as Fortnite’s main character – instead of giving individual player’s a traditional hero’s arc.
“What if instead of treating [Fortnite’s story] like a normal narrative, I’m going to create a world where the island is the main character – so I’m going to treat the island like that traditional arc,” Mustard said. “And we’ve planned it that way. Like, I have the story and the narrative structure planned out for many, many, many years. And we’re only three years in to an arc we have way planned out – like, the big beats of how that’ll work.
“Over the years, players will understand why when they embody or inhabit a character like Wolverine or Iron Man this season…” Mustard trailed off. “There are some really big hints on the mythology of Fortnite in this season right now, as players start to understand why Thor is losing his abilities… that stuff is going to be real to players, part of the philosophy…”
Mustard described Fortnite as a “nexus” of realities, including Marvel’s, reinforcing Epic Games’ ongoing push to turn the game into an online metaverse of various franchises and stories.
Alongside Epic Games’ own story plans, Mustard touched on how player actions regularly influence Fortnite’s story along the way, all the way back to the game’s first major narrative moment, when its meteor hit the map at the end of its third season, back in early 2018. The location the meteor landed was impacted by the player discussion around it, Mustard revealed. The community assumed – wrongly, it turned out – that the game’s popular Tilted Towers location would be flattened, which was something Epic Games took upon itself to further tease in-game.
“I knew where I probably wanted the comet to hit – but the speculation of where it was going to hit actually changed where we had the comet hit,” Mustard said. “I was going to have it slightly in a different spot and we had made some of the art beforehand… but then everyone started thinking, oh it’ll hit Tilted Towers… this city we had in Fortnite. So like, okay, I don’t want to hit Tilted yet because we have other stuff we wanted to do with it, but we can get it close to there, we can start to veer the angle closer so people think ‘oh my goodness it’s going to hit this’.”
Fortnite’s current Marvel season is due to wrap up at the end of November, with what fans expect to be another live event set to mark Galactus’ arrival.