Fortnite creative boss Donald Mustard retires

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 09: Donald Mustard attends The Game Awards 2021 at Microsoft Theater on December 09, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Donald Mustard may not be the most well-known name in gaming, but he's definitely one of the most influential. For the past seven years he's been the chief creative officer at Epic Games and "Loremaster of Fortnite"—the big hand on the wheel of one of the biggest videogame phenomena of all time. But soon that era will come to an end, as Mustard has announced that he is retiring.

Mustard's first videogame credit, according to Mobygames, is on the 2002 action game Bloodrayne. In 2005 he co-founded Chair Entertainment, the developer of the Xbox shooter Undertow, which was acquired by Epic Games in 2008. Mustard remained as creative director at the studio, helming the development of Shadow Complex and the Infinity Blade mobile games, until 2016 when he became CCO at Epic.

"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," Mustard said in a farewell message on Twitter. "From the ambitious Advent Rising, to the start of ChAIR where we created Undertow, Shadow Complex, and the Infinity Blade trilogy, to the honor of our tiny team becoming part of Epic, each new chapter allowed me to accomplish something new and original. I am especially proud of the opportunity I’ve had to help create and shape Fortnite.

"I am humbled to have been a part of the team that every day tries to bring 'joy and delight' to the Fortnite community! We love watching you experience every moment—leaping from the Battle Bus for the very first time, seeing the rocket crack open the sky, dancing with friends after a Victory Royale, being sucked into a black hole or being washed out to sea as The Island flipped over—and on and on! I can’t wait to now share in the future of Fortnite as a player alongside all of you! The teams are in the best hands and they are working on huge, jaw dropping, amazing things!!!"

(Image credit: Donald Mustard (Twitter))

Since then, he's shepherded through its remarkable transformation from an unremarkable co-op survival game to a literal billion-dollar game that's had crossovers with pretty much every major entertainment franchise you care to name. Fortnite's success has also enabled Epic to finance the first real competition to Steam, and to wage war against Apple and Google. It's hard to overstate the impact that Fortnite has had, and Mustard has been there for all of it. 

Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney thanked Mustard for the "amazing times and accomplishments."

(Image credit: Tim Sweeney (Twitter))

As for what he's got in mind for his post-Epic life, Mustard said he's "excited to spend time with [his] wife and family."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.