Epic Games made headlines recently when its loot shooter Fortnite introduced a battle royale game mode. Simply called “Battle Royale,” the 100-player game mode has been well-received by fans and critics alike. But after being available for just over a week, Battle Royale is already getting a major change.

Epic announced today that the Battle Royale mode will be going free to play on September 26, as players on Windows PC, Mac, PS4, or Xbox One will be able to play the standalone game mode without paying. It seems that the main Fortnite game mode, Survive the World (which includes story missions), will continue to have paid-for entry until its own free to play launch next year.

The September 26 launch will introduce a squads feature, too, though the Fortnite developer didn’t provide any information no how this might work – for example if both duos and four-player squads will be permitted. Teaming up with other players was previously listed as a bannable offense. Additionally, Epic will be improving “the feel of combat, controls, weapons, movement and inventory.”

Fortnite Survival Mode announced

Epic also explains that although Fortnite Battle Royale is going to free to play, this doesn’t mean that the company will begin selling “items that give a competitive advantage.” However, “at some point in the future [Epic] will sell other things including cosmetics or compendium-like content.” Epic has already caught some flak for how much it costs to unlock the best heroes in Fortnite, and so Battle Royale players will be glad to know that they can still come out on top without shelling out a pretty penny for it.

The decision to make the mode free to play has already been praised by Fortnite players and non-players alike. Those within the game realize that Battle Royale can only survive with a continuous influx of players, which is something that the free to play launch will help with. Meanwhile, non-players will be able to get a taste of the game and find out why Fortnite has sold over a million copies already.

With the standalone Battle Royale mode potentially poised for success, some have already begun to question what this means for games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. PUBG has sold over 10 million copies as a paid-for game, and it did seem like there was no stopping the train, but if Fortnite can offer a decent Battle Royale experience for no cost at all, could it topple that game’s reign? It will be interesting to find out, come September 26.

Fortnite is out now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Source: Epic Games