"Fortnite Battle Royale" was released in September 2017 and almost everyone has heard about it by now. The video game has become insanely popular all over the world and it has even become a huge part of pop culture as well as the gaming world. Epic Games developers have worked incredibly hard to achieve this success, and even now, a year and a half after its release, they are still doing a great job releasing weekly updates and keeping the game interesting and popular.

Unfortunately, many developers have been in a difficult situation. They have worked many overtime hours to achieve this level of success and working conditions have been far from good.

In an exclusive interview with Polygon, former and current Epic Games employees revealed what it feels like working for this successful company. Contrary to popular belief, they do work a lot to fix game issues and add new content, which is what makes it difficult to enjoy their jobs.

'Fortnite's' success a blessing and a curse

Epic Games never expected "Fortnite Battle Royale" to become this popular. The video game has broken numerous records, including the record for most concurrent players, when over 10 million players were playing online at the same time. However, many developers are not happy since all this work requires a lot of effort and a lot of overtime hours. Season 9 will also bring a gifting change to the game.

“I work an average 70 hours a week,” said one Epic Games employee. “There’s probably at least 50 or even 100 other people at Epic working those hours. I know people who pull 100-hour weeks. The company gives us unlimited time off, but it’s almost impossible to take the time. If I take time off, the workload falls on other people, and no one wants to be that guy." He added that the biggest problem is patching, as the executives are focusing on keeping the game popular for a long time.

One source said that everything has to be done immediately. If a weapon breaks, developers have to fix it immediately, while also working on a new patch. Some developers have taken weekends off and failed to meet deadlines, which is why they were fired. Contractors who refused to do extra hours were often replaced and getting an eight-hour working day was almost impossible.

Another source talked about working 12 hours a day, seven days in a week, for at least four or five months, and that a lot of work included staying at working until 3 or 4 AM.

Player tickets

One big issue Epic Games has to deal with are player tickets. According to sources cited by Polygon, the customer service went from 20 to 40 tickets a day to about 3,000 tickets a day. While Epic Games immediately hired more people to work on this, the problem couldn't be solved in such a simple way. Every person in the customer service had to work at least 50 hours a week and respond to 200 or more tickets.

The future

It will be hard for Epic Games to sustain the current business model. The work situation is toxic and many developers are not happy, which is why something has to change. "Fortnite Battle Royale" is still big and still incredibly popular, but its future may not be bright if Epic Games doesn't change something about the work environment.