The news comes from Polygon, who were clued in on what to expect from the future of the engine, but also the future of Fortnite. While Fortnite will launch on next-gen with Unreal Engine 4, it will migrate to Unreal Engine 5 the following year.
“Epic will release Fortnite, built with UE4, on next-gen consoles at launch and, in keeping with the team’s commitment to prove out industry-leading features through internal production, migrate the game to UE5 in mid-2021.”
Cross-play will still be supported, and it seems that PS5 players will be able to play against PS4 players, and the same goes for Xbox Series X and Xbox One players. We’re asking Epic if Xbox Series X players will be able to play with Switch players, for instance, and will update this when we have more information.
Interestingly, Epic also mentioned that they are hoping to optimize the game in this current gen before Unreal Engine 5 launches, meaning that we may even see better looking PS4 and Xbox One versions before the end of the year.
While Epic didn’t go into great detail on what a next-gen Fortnite will look like, it seems that they won’t be looking to make a simple port of the game. You can expect Epic to put on bigger, even crazier events, not to mention the greater detail for destruction provided by a newer engine. The destruction of builds in UE5 is going to be pretty fascinating to see.
A game the size of Fortnite was inevitably going to appear on next-gen, so this news shouldn’t come as a surprise. Expect plenty of other live service games to get port news soon.
Fortnite: Chapter 2 – Season 2 is free-to-play on PC via the Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android. It will also be a launch title for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.