Video Games

PSA: Don’t Be Scammed; Fortnite Doesn’t Require a $60 Purchase

Fortnite

Fortnite is a strange little game that was announced way back in 2011, but then it just disappeared. Until very recently. Now, this build-and-battle zombie game is playable on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. And it’s completely free.

Or it will be, that is.

If you discover Fortnite in the PlayStation Store, you’ll be asked to pay a considerable amount for it. If you click on the massive ad in the Featured section, you’ll be taken directly to a page where you can purchase Fortnite‘s Deluxe Founder’s Pack, which grants early access to the game.

Fortnite Deluxe Founder's Pack

If you don’t do a little research, you might assume this is the only version of the game available. With a $59.99 price point, the standard price for a brand new triple-A game, it seems like you’re buying a major new title. If you’re in a hurry, you might just toss this into your cart and proceed from there.

But this isn’t the only version of the game available. There’s also a $39.99 Standard Founder’s Pack, an $89.99 Super Deluxe Founder’s Pack, and a behemoth Limited Edition Founder’s Pack that will run you a whopping $149.99. If that Limited Edition Pack seems spendy, consider that it actually contains three copies of the game, two of which are Standard Editions that you can share with your friends.

But what you won’t find mentioned on this product page is that the cheapest edition of this game is the free-to-play version, which is supposedly not coming out until 2018.

Fortnite seems very much like a game I’ll enjoy the hell out of. Building forts and setting deadly traps with friends should be right up my alley. But I don’t appreciate the lack of transparency here. Clearly, the goal is to hide the discounted stuff behind a confusing labyrinth of menus and sub-menus to trick impulse buyers into making a $60 purchase they don’t actually need to make.

You can try to get the free version now — it’s listed in the Featured sub-menu in the Free menu in the PlayStation Store — but when you fire up the game, you’ll be taken to a menu where you must purchase a Founder’s version of the game to play. If you can’t wait, seek out the $40 version instead of going straight for the $60 version.

PlayStation Store Free

It’s not super difficult to find the $40 version if you know where to look, and if you’re willing to wait, you can pick it up for free. But if you’re a PS4 owner who discovers this in the place it’s most noticeable — in the Featured section of the PlayStation Store, then you might not even know these options exist.

I don’t know if this was plotted by Epic Games or Sony, but it feels a little dishonest to me. Sure, this comes from the fact that early adopters could only play the game early — on July 21 — by purchasing a paid version. But this game is supposed to be free, and this should be clear to anyone who’s considering a purchase.

Fortnite

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m still going to play Fortnite. It’s just my hope that anyone reading this will either pick up the $40 version or wait for free version so they can try it out before spending any money on it. That’s the smartest, lowest-risk way to enjoy Fortnite. My only hope is that Lightgun Galaxy readers can be aware that other options exist so they can make an informed decision.

You can also check out our gameplay video to see if this is your type of game.

Happy forting, friends.

Josh Wirtanen owns this place and has opinions about pretty much everything. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuajwirtanen.