Epic Games Chief Creative Officer Donald Mustard, one of the key architects behind Fortnite’s massive success, is retiring this month.
Mustard announced the news today on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), writing that he’s “excited to spend time with my wife and family and am forever grateful for [Epic Games CEO] @timsweeney and the Epic Games family.” You can read his full statement below.
After an incredible adventure, I will be retiring from my role as Chief Creative Officer at Epic this month.
I have enjoyed nearly 25 years in the game industry collaborating with some of the most talented people ever and I am so proud of what we have made together. From the… pic.twitter.com/9KJT9Jg2jr
— Donald Mustard (@DonaldMustard) September 8, 2023
In 2005, Mustard founded Salt Lake City-based studio Chair Entertainment, which released its first game, Undertow, for Xbox 360’s Live Arcade service in 2007.
Chair was acquired by Epic Games in 2008 and there, Mustard would direct beloved 2009 Metroidvania Shadow Complex (today’s news might be a little deflating for those still holding out hope for the sequel). Chair also developed the mobile-based Infinity Blade trilogy for Epic.
It’s hard to overstate, though, the impact that Mustard would have on Fortnite in overseeing its ambitious story after becoming Epic’s Chief Creative Officer in 2016. Under Mustard, Fortnite became a pop culture behemoth, finding ways to weave in characters from the likes of Star Wars, Marvel, Street Fighter, God of War, John Wick, and much more.
Mustard also served as the face for that story, becoming well-known to fans for frequently teasing upcoming developments. He could occasionally be seen in some big movies too, with cameo roles in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Matrix Resurrections, and Avengers: Endgame.
In his statement today, Mustard noted that he “can’t wait to now share in the future of Fortnite as a player alongside all of you,” and added the current team is working on some “huge, jaw dropping, amazing things.”
Thumbnail credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Alex Stedman is a Senior News Editor with IGN, overseeing entertainment reporting. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her reading fantasy novels or playing Dungeons & Dragons.