The big picture: Epic Games has proven Fortnite to be an extremely flexible game across its lifespan. It has primarily been a multiplayer battle-royale shooter but started as something entirely different and has incorporated numerous alternate experiences. Therefore, a recent job listing for a new title using the Fortnite brand isn't surprising but does raise many questions.
A recent Epic Games job listing suggests plans for a new game related to Fortnite, but its exact nature is unclear. The immensely popular shooter has taken many forms, but there are various areas it hasn't explored.
The opening is for a user interface programming intern who would work on an open-world game with crafting systems in a physics sandbox. Those words could easily describe Fortnite's most popular mode, Battle Royale. However, the listing also mentions working on "parts of the Fortnite Universe," indicating something separate from the current game.
The job description is even more curious because it mentions aspects of Fortnite's original format. The game began as a wave-based survival shooter called Fortnite: Save the World, which was somewhat similar to the horde mode in Epic's now Microsoft-owned Gears of War series but with the added ability to build structures.
The project pivoted toward its current iteration in response to the explosive initial popularity of PUBG. Adding the construction element to PUBG's battle royale multiplayer format and becoming free-to-play on consoles brought Fortnite Battle Royale to its current dominant position among online games.
A new title with survival-oriented crafting gameplay could capitalize on the brand's success while offering a different flavor of gameplay. The opening doesn't mention whether the project would be single-player, multiplayer, or a new mode offered within Fortnite.
Epic has added numerous play styles and other interactive events to the game over the years, some defying traditional definitions of video games. However, Fortnite's amorphous nature has also invited criticism alleging unoriginality.
Among Us developer Innersloth expressed annoyance at the apparent similarities between its game, which launched in 2018 but gained fame much later, and the "Impostors" mode Fortnite introduced in 2021. Some see the episode as a microcosm of how the game outgrew PUBG.
The project the job listing describes could strongly resemble other crafting-based open-world titles like Minecraft, Rust, or The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Hopefully, Epic shares more information before long, but the company hasn't publicly acknowledged plans for new Fortnite games so far.