Epic Games have been a little quiet on the games development front as of late. Who can blame them after all. They sold the Gears of War franchise to Microsoft and poured a great deal of focus into building the engine which many games are going to be built on in the not-to-distant future, Unreal Engine 4. Perhaps the first statement was wrong though. While publically they’ve not been flaunting their current game development works deep in their code factory Fortnite has been coming to life. Now, Epic Games are preparing to conscript gamers from across the world to join in with Fortnite’s alpha testing.

Before I go too far into a little about it, the link for the Fortnite page is here, and the direct link to alpha sign-up is here.

With that out-of-the-way here’s a little information for those of you who might not yet know about Fortnite. Take the horde-mode happenings of Gears of War, add in a foundation of Minecraft and a visual style more akin to that of the Borderlands Universe than the war-torn browns of Gears. Then mix it all in a bowl of co-operative multiplayer. Simmer in an oven for several years and there you have it, Fortnite. Reportedly gameplay will revolve around players working together to build structures and bases to help them repel the monstrous hordes that wish to slay them.

Reading into the Alpha sign up sheet a little closer we find the usual registration rigmarole of names and dates of birth but with two interesting additions which make this sound a little more subtle customer survey than alpha sign-up sheet.  The first one asks which games you most enjoy out of a selection including Minecraft, Skyrim and Borderlands which brings to mind that the range of selections here may decide on certain directions in the game.

The second interesting section of the Alpha sign-up sheet comes in its questions about free to play games. These range from if you’ve played any to how much you’ve spent on free to play titles in the past few months. Now its no going to be a big surprise should Fortnite be released as a free-to-play multiplayer title. Many multiplayer games take the form for a very good reason, it makes money. Asking about it could mean Epic are looking to go down this revenue avenue, or it’s simply asking questions about how receptive alpha applicants are to such games. This could also just be wild-eyed speculation on the part of this author.

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