Fortnite Is The First Game To Make An Epic Switch To Unreal Engine 5

Fortnite Chapter 3 Screen
We have been patiently waiting for Unreal Engine 5 to manifest in an actual game ever since we saw a tech demo last year that left us slack-jawed and drooling. Well, the wait is technically over—surprisingly or not-so-surprisingly, depending on your vantage point, Fortnite is the first game to employ Unreal Engine 5 with the recent Chapter 3 update.

Epic Games is the developer behind both Fortnite and the ongoing evolution of Unreal Engine, so it makes sense that the company's cash cow would be the first to feast on the new tech. Plus at the time of last year's tech demo, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney told IGN that Unreal Engine 5 was intended "to do things that are absolutely not possible today," adding that Fortnite would employ it around the middle of 2021.

Well, the middle of 2021 has come and gone, but the calendar has not yet flipped over to 2022. So while the timing might be slightly off, it's not by much—Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 1 released earlier this week as a fairly substantial update to the massively popular battle royale. And while it slipped under the radar initially, Epic Games confirmed on Twitter that Chapter 3 brought along with it an upgrade to Unreal Engine 5.

Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 1

"With the arrival of Chapter 3, @FortniteGame development has flipped to Unreal Engine 5. We're excited to share this journey with you and are working to make this the best experience possible for the entire Fortnite community," Epic Games announced through its Unreal Engine account on Twitter.

The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience Is Out Today On PS5 And Xbox Series X

While Fortnite is the first game to adopt Unreal Engine 5, it will not be the last. Released today, The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience is an interactive tech demo available for free on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, though not on PC.

"Created by members of the original movie team including Lana Wachowski along with Epic Games and partners, 'The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience' is a wild ride into the reality-bending universe of 'The Matrix' that features performances by Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss," the demo's description reads.

Xbox studio The Coalition, which developed Gears of War 5, is also getting its hands dirty with Unreal Engine 5. It released a tech demo of its own last year...

"First look at the #AlphaPoint demo! An insight into what's possible with #UE5, from its next-gen features such as Nanite, which allows for unlimited triangle budget, and Lumen, which allows real-time lighting with none of the traditional overhead tasks," The Coaltion said at the time.

As for actual games, there are several titles in the pipeline, including Redfall, Echoes of the End, ArchAge 2, Dragon Quest 12: The Flames of Fate, STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl, and others.