Epic's Sweeney: Fortnite isn't addictive, but a 'healthy, social experience'

Epic's Sweeney: Fortnite isn't addictive, but a 'healthy, social experience'

Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney has refuted claims that the company's free-to-play battle royale title Fortnite is addictive.

Asked by about the matter, the exec said that the game was a 'social experience', as well as healthy, with groups of friends coming together to play the hugely popular title.

"Fortnite is a social experience that you play together with friends," he said.

"That's a healthy thing. It's not like you're sitting in your basement alone playing games like the stories in the past. It's a social experience and you're seeing more groups of friends playing together. That's great."

Sweeney went on to say that the team at Epic knew Fortnite was a great title, but no-one could predict that it would be as successful as it was.

"We really love playing it. We thought it had some of the magic you need for success but we never anticipated it being like this," he said.

"How do you predict something like this? From the moment we began playtesting Fortnite: Battle Royale mode, it was clear that it was really clear that it was really awesome to play. That visual style with a large open world, combat and the building mechanic has meant a lot of new gameplay for us."

Fortnite launched in July, with its free-to-play battle royale mode coming out in September. The game has come under attack in the US and UK, with morning shows on both sides of the Atlantic running pieces about the title being addictive.

These reports are badly timed for Fortnite, with the World Health Organisation looking to add two definitions of video game addiction to its list of diseases. Trade bodies around the world have been pushing a report saying that more research needs to be done into the matter.  

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.