It is pretty safe to say that Fortnite: Battle Royale has become something of a hit. However, they have almost completely halted production on the project they envisioned from the beginning. It seems that after 6 years of development, what is now known as Fortnite: Save the World will follow the tracks of so many promising early access titles (see Ark and DayZ) will end up dead in early access.
Epic Games has been working on Fortnite for years, but not in the incarnation many people know it as today. It was designed as a co-op survival zombie game and was actually looking pretty interesting. The game came into early access during the summer of 2017, but they made one key mistake. The game promises it will be free upon its launch, but was charging $30 at launch in addition to loot boxes. This made many people (such as myself) unwilling to buy the game because it would eventually go free. This made the game have an incredibly weak launch, and the game continues to perform lower than their expectations. If they were to make Save the World free at this stage, it would no doubt increase players by tenfold. Fortnite is currently at its peak player base, and I can’t see anywhere else to go but down.
This is largely because Epic Games (the developers of Fortnite) have their eyes much bigger than their stomachs. They have stopped supporting paragon, a MOBA they were creating, and it is easy to see why. They think they have struck gold with Fortnite, and they have, but diverting all of their resources towards it will leave them nowhere to go. If the hype behind Fortnite dies out, they will lose everything they have unless they support their other titles. After they make the push to mobile (as they are planning to do), they need to re-prioritize. The first thing they need to do is get Fortnite: Save the World released in full as soon as possible. If it goes free to play, people will certainly buy the loot pinatas which will help fund them. I think it could get as popular as Fortnite if they make it free as promised, and players will flock to it for a good and refreshing free-to-play game. Next, they need to divert resources back into their other titles, because now the Epic Games launcher is in the hands of more people than have ever had it. Nobody wants to have a launcher for one game, so they will be more inclined to download, or even purchase games from them if they were still gaining support.
Epic Games have bought themselves a lot of hype and publicity with Fortnite: Battle Royale. So now it is crunch time for the studio. They need to turn this momentum into long-term players, and they have the ability to do this. They just need to gain perspective, prioritize things other than Battle Royale, and start putting effort back into their other titles. Epic Games has always been a quieter and less popular studio, but with the right planning, they have the potential to solidify themselves within the industry forever.