Nov 17, 2023 - Technology

Scoop: Fortnite mastermind joins "Avengers" directors' production company

Donald Mustard at the 2021 Game Awards. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The next act for longtime Epic Games creative director and Fortnite mastermind Donald Mustard appears to be a senior role at AGBO, the eyebrow-raising production company started by "Avengers: Endgame" directors Anthony and Joe Russo.

Why it matters: Mustard is one of the most successful game creators on the planet, and AGBO has been signaling greater gaming ambitions.

Details: Mustard is listed as a "partner" on AGBO's website, which describes hm as a "director, producer, writer, and game designer" and as "the creative visionary behind some of the most profitable and groundbreaking entertainment franchises in history."

  • Neither Mustard nor AGBO have announced that he joined the company. It's unclear when Mustard signed on, but his bio on the company's site refers to his Epic role as his "previous tenure."
  • An archived version of AGBO's roster from July does not mention Mustard, and AGBO's news page doesn't mention Mustard joining the firm.
  • A representative for AGBO declined to comment. Mustard did not reply to a request for comment by press time.

Catch up fast: Mustard said in September that he was retiring from Epic after 15 years. He had served as chief creative officer since 2016.

  • During his run, Fortnite's battle royale become a cultural phenomenon with more than 300 million registered players by 2020.
  • The game became known for cultural crossovers, as characters from movies, anime and other games were added as alternate looks for players' characters.
  • Mustard also led work on building dramatic, live events in Fortnite that all players would witness at the same time.

Between the lines: AGBO, which recently produced the hit "Everything Everywhere All At Once," hasn't made any video games.

What they're saying: In February 2022, during a talk at the DICE gaming convention, Joe Russo said, "The focus with AGBO and our partnerships have been with video game companies."

  • He added: "The reason we did this is because we think that the chocolate and peanut butter of those two industries [film and games], when they merge properly, that's where the future of storytelling is going to lie."
  • Russo's partner for the talk was Mustard, and their topic was the future of entertainment. (The two did another joint talk this past April.)
  • During their DICE conversation, Russo and Mustard said they met in 2018 during the production of "Avengers: Infinity War" and collaborated on bringing Marvel villain Thanos into Fortnite. They became good friends after that.

The bottom line: "Most people are just too entrenched and too risk-averse to try the crazy stuff," Mustard said during the 2022 talk.

  • "But our whole industry is built on crazy, right? And so, we're the ones who should do it."

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