Donald Mustard, the head of Fortnite’s story is set to leave Epic and retire. For those who don’t know him as the head of Fortnite’s story, you just may have known him from Shadow Complex, Undertow, and Infinity Blade.
Donald Mustard to Leave Epic
Donald Mustard for those that don’t know ran a really successful studio that showed what the Xbox and iPhone were reportedly capable of. Then, he became the face of one of the biggest as well as boldest storytelling experiments in history, to borrow a phrase, with the massive metaverse of Fortnite.
And now that he is done, the chief creative officer at Epic Games, Mustard says that he is reportedly retiring this very month.
“I’m excited to spend time with my wife and family and am forever grateful for @TimSweeneyEpic and the Epic Games family,” he writes.
Projects Mustard Will Be Remembered For
I will always remember Mustard best for the game Shadow Complex, which is one of the best Metroidvania games that was ever made, It helped prove out the market for digital-only titles when it made its way to the Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Arcade platform back in 2009. It broke the sales records of the platform at the said time, selling 200,000 copies in a single week. Chair Entertainment, his very own studio, founded by members of the Advent Rising development team, also reportedly brought the award-winning Undertow to Xbox Live Arcade in the year 2007.
The History of Mustard’s Rise to the Role of Creative Director at Epic Games
Mustard as you should know was both the creative and technical director on Shadow Complex, even though many Epic Games employees are reportedly listed in the credits, too — Epic bought Chair back in 2008, which was a year earlier.
Mustard by the year 2010, had made the switch from Xbox to the iPhone instead. Epic Games had just at the time helped legitimatize iOS as a gaming platform with its then-incredible Epic Citadel tech demo. Mustard’s own Chair company turned it into Infinity Blade, which is a sword-swinging finger-flicking series that served as the go-to demo of Apple for the iPhone’s graphical chops for many years afterward, despite originally being conceived as a Microsoft Kinect title that you would play with your arms. Nothing on the iPhone however looked anywhere near as good.
But after the game, Infinity Blade III, and the canceled Infinity Blade Dungeons, the company then decided that it was done. And as Polygon chronicled back in 2016, Chair fell silent for some time, simply because it was quietly working with J.J. Abrams on SpyJinx while it reportedly shelved a Shadow Complex sequel.
Mustard in 2016, then became worldwide creative director at Epic Games, thus responsible for managing other projects such as Battle Breakers and Robo Recall, Epic’s very first full-length VR game.
The Formation of Fortnite
And then there came Fortnite. Originally a very different type of game, as it was molded by the success of PUBG into the world’s foremost battle royale title and then eventually became a game that possesses a literal world-breaking narrative such as cracks in the sky, giant kaiju battles, a black hole, and not to even mention reality-bending rifts that enabled characters of Marvel, Stranger Things, Dragon Ball, Star Wars, Naruto, and Futurama to all coexist in the very same universe. There is quite nothing else like it.
In the goodbye note on Friday, he stated that the teams of Fortnite are “in the best hands” and are still working on “huge, jaw-dropping, amazing things” to come.
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