Having 100 players in a battle royale match seems to be the standard number at the moment for the genre, but Fortnite’s devs have considered going beyond that number.
Speaking in the latest issue of the Official PlayStation Magazine (via Wccftech), Epic Games’ Eric Williamson, design lead for Fortnite, spoke about the possibility of expanding the game to more than 100 players in each match.
“One of the things we’ve been talking about is, ‘does it make sense to ever consider more than a hundred players?’” Williamson said. “I think there’s a lot of technological considerations for something like that. I mean, personally, I would love to try it. I don’t see it in our near future but, hey, why not?”
Other games have also been experimenting with the different battle royale setups instead of the staple 100-player formula. Fortnite itself has a 50v50 game mode that's previewed in the trailer above, a mode that Epic Games recently discussed while explaining how it’s being improved. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds also has a new mode that just ended yesterday that reduces the number of max players down to 30 to create three 10-person teams. One ambitious game called Mavericks: Proving Grounds has plans to take the player count much higher by allowing 1,000 players into each map.
However Epic Games has considered raising the max player count, it won’t happen anytime soon, as Williamson said. If Epic Games did choose to do so, it seems most likely that the player count would be raised through something like a Limited Time Mode that will show up occasionally for Fortnite players. Expanding a current game mode to a new version like a 50v50v50 or simply raising the max player number to 200 for a short time would give players a taste of the higher player count while preserving the option to go back to the normal 100-player matches.
Williamson also spoke about these Limited Time Modes in the magazine to talk about how much the modes free up Epic Games to experiment with different features. From powerful explosions to big squads, he said that the modes allow Epic Games to try things that wouldn’t always work in the base game.
“Those are really fun palate cleansers,” Williamson said about the Limited Time Modes. “They allow us to do things we couldn’t do in the core game. they give us the opportunity to break the game and tip everything on its head. Turn things around and try different stuff.”
Expanding the game beyond 100 players doesn’t appear to be a priority for Epic Games at the moment, but they’ll hopefully have some plans for doing so in the future.