Donald Mustard led a successful study that showed what the Xbox and iPhone were capable of. Then he became the face of one of the biggest and most audacious narrative experiments in history, to borrow a phrase, with fortniteThe massive metaverse.
“I’m excited to spend time with my wife and family and will be forever grateful to @TimSweeneyEpic and the Epic Games family,” he writes.
I will always remember Mustard best for Shadow complexone of the best Metroidvania games ever made, which helped solidify the market for digital-only titles when it arrived on the Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Arcade platform in 2009. It broke the platform’s sales records at the time. selling 200,000 copies in a week. His studio, Chair Entertainment, founded by members of the Advent Rising development team, also brought the award-winning Hangover to Xbox Live Arcade in 2007.
Mustard was the creative and technical director of Shadow complexalthough many Epic Games employees are also credited: Epic bought Chair in 2008, a year earlier.
In 2010, Mustard had switched from Xbox to iPhone. Epic Games had just helped legitimize iOS as a gaming platform with its then-incredible Epic Citadel tech demo. The Mustard Chair made him Infinity edge, a series of finger movements that served as Apple’s demonstration of the iPhone’s graphical abilities for years, despite originally being conceived as a Microsoft Kinect title that you’d play with your arms. Nothing on the iPhone seemed as good.
And then there was Fortnite. Originally it was a very different game, it was shaped by PUBGthe success into the world’s biggest battle royale title and eventually became a game with a literally revolutionary narrative: cracks in the sky, giant kaiju battles, a black hole, not to mention the reality-altering rifts that allowed Marvel, Strange things, Dragon Ball, Star Wars, narutoand futurama characters so that they all live in the same universe. There is nothing like it.
In Friday’s farewell note, he says that fortniteThe teams are “in the best of hands” and continue to work on “huge, amazing, amazing things” to come.