The creators of Fortnite are doing studies to build ambitious and branded worlds


The creators of Fortnite are doing studies to build ambitious and branded worlds

Last year, Fortnite developer Epic Games launched a huge partnership with couture house Balenciaga. In addition to a collection of Balenciaga gear-adorned skins available for purchase, Epic also promoted a Balenciaga-themed zone that players could visit. It looked like a virtual city square fallen into Fortnitebut at heart it was a recreation of a Balenciaga retail store.

It’s an awesome world, and it almost feels like something ripped out of the Fortnite battle royale island But it was actually made by only three creators who are full time Fortnite Creative experts who have formed their own company to create in-game worlds for brands.

“The fact that I can create games now with a team of almost 10, and we all do it for a living, I think that’s pretty impressive,” Kasper Weber, a Fortnite creator, said in an interview with the edge. “I don’t think my parents thought that would be a thing.”

Weber is co-founder and CEO of the company Beyond Creative. “Beyond builds unique experiences within Fortnite,” the company says on its website. “We bring our clients’ ideas to life using the powerful Fortnite creative platform. The company lists an impressive selection of clients, including Verizon, NFL, Nvidia, AMD, and even Chipotle.

Beyond Creative isn’t the only company doing this kind of work. I spoke to three other groups of people who work in remote teams full-time branding Fortnite creative worlds. TeamUnite is responsible for an entire in-Fortnite role playing game based on the movie the northerner. alliance studies has worked in grubhub Y tomb Raider-thematic worlds, among others. creative zen worked with other creators on a recent Brazilian rapper Emicida concertwhich took place in a series of shifting virtual locations.

the Fortnite However, creative maps aren’t just impressive selling points for virtual world building; making them has proven to be very lucrative for the companies I talked to. According to Simon Bell, co-owner and art director of Alliance Studios, a contract can range from “four to six figures”, depending on the scope of work. And he estimated that projects can last anywhere from two weeks to six months, depending on what the team needs to do. “It’s definitely a very successful avenue for us,” said Mackenzie Jackson, co-owner and creative director of Alliance Studios.

Creators can probably demand such big contracts in part because players are playing more and more Fortnite creative maps. According to Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, “about half of Fortnite the game time of the users is now in the content created by others, and half is in the content of Epic”, he said in an interview with fast company. Epic Games declined to be interviewed for this article.

But creative creators also depend on revenue from Epic Support a Creator Program. With this program, qualified individuals or groups earn a “Creator Code” that individuals can enter into the Fortnite object shop. Any purchase made while that code is active is supported by the group or individual the code represents. (Creator codes can also be used in rocket league store and the epic games store).

For him Fortnite groups I spoke to, creator codes can be an inefficient way to earn income, as they have to find ways to convince people to enter the code. However, on some maps I’ve played, there’s a prompt right at the beginning that allows you to use the code with just a couple of button presses. But the creators do not receive much of what is purchased. In Fortnitecreators earn 5 percent of the value of in-game purchases made with their creator code, Epic says on their website.

In an FAQ, Epic explains a couple of examples of how payouts might work, and explicitly warns creators to “expect modest results”:


Expect modest results. The amount you earn scales with the number of players who choose to support you. An example from Fortnite: If your in-game followers spend 50,000 V-Bucks in-game, then you would earn $25 USD. An example from the Epic Games Store: If your fans buy $100 worth of games, you’ll earn $5 (at the base rate funded by Epic).

And in order to withdraw money from the system, you have to have earned $100 in a period of 12 months.

Brand deals, so far, seem to be a more effective way of building a business for the creators I spoke with. “I would say brand deals are more sustainable right now,” said R-leeo Maoate, director of Zen Creative. “Sometimes we have gaps in which we do not arrive as [many people playing our maps], which leads to less income. So we try not to depend on Support-A-Creator. We depend more on brand offers.”

Some teams have spoken to me about how they would like to have more monetization options. At this time, the Support-A-Creator code is the only in-Fortnite way for creators to earn money, but competitors like Roblox and Meta allow creators to monetize things like personalized virtual items.

Maoate also talked about how your experience appears within Fortnite can make a difference. “You have to be [on] the front page discovery page to generate some revenue,” he said.

Although it is several years old, it seems that we are still in the early days with Fortnite Creative. The mode was released in december 2018, but Epic updates it frequently to add important new tools and features. For example, Johnny Lohe, one of the co-founders of Alliance, told me how Epic recently added the ability to modulate water levels. And many of the groups I interviewed discussed an expected major update that they referred to as “Creative 2.0.”

Epic shared a brief preview of the improved tools on their Year 2020 Review Video for Unreal Engine. “These are the same tools our developers use to put the game together,” Epic’s Zak Parrish said in the video. “Our goal is to give you the same kind of power, the same set of tools, that we use to bring Fortnite to you season after season.” Epic also demoed a scripting language that creators could use to customize their creative experiences in even more granular ways.

The tools could arrive soon, Sweeney said. a fast company. “Later this year, we will launch Unreal Editor for Fortnite — all capabilities you have seen [in Unreal Engine] open for anyone to create very high-quality game code and content… and deploy it on Fortnite without having to make a deal with us, it is open to everyone.”

And there are signs that Epic could also introduce more monetization tools, also based on Sweeney’s comments. In response to a series of tweets in April, discussing Fortnite 5 percent bribe to creators, sweeney tweeted: “Epic is already working on Fortnite Creator Economy version 2 and 3. Expect some big changes throughout the year.”

He followed that up with a short tweet suggesting that Epic has bigger ambitions. “It’s a longer path to the open metaverse,” he said. “The next steps will be nice, but they are not the holy grail.”