In pretty astonishing news, more than half a million copies of Epic’s Fortnite have been sold through digital pre-order sales alone, with fans paying between $40 and $150 for the privilege. That’s over 500,000 players paying for Early Access to a game that will be free-to-play when it launches in its complete form in 2018.

The info comes directly from Darren Sugg, creative director on Fortnite, who tweeted the launch figures out.

That's a mammoth launch for an Early Access title, particularly when users know it will eventually be F2P. There are a variety of package options available, ranging from the $39.99 Standard Edition all the way up to the $149.99 Limited Edition which includes a bunch of heroes, weapon packs, two additional copies for friends, and more.

The Early Access scavenge-em-up has been around the block a bit, becoming Epic’s standard bearer for Unreal Engine 4 for while. First revealed in 2011, Fortnite is Epic’s attempt to move away from competitive shooters to a light-hearted team focused game in which players must scavenge, build a fort, and attempt to survive the night against an onslaught of foes.

Its success is sort of blowing my mind a bit, particularly considering Fortnite’s launched looked for all the world like it would be a fart in the wind after the protracted development. Shows what I know The fairly tepid reviews don’t seem to have done Fortnite any harm, neither does launching exclusively on the Epic Games Store.

Have any GD'ers jumped into the weird and wonderful world of Fortnite? Could this game be the big jumping off point that Epic's Game Launcher client needs? Let us know!