Epic Games is changing the way Fortnite Content creators are being paid, and that could have a transformative effect on the game ecosystem. Right now, 40% of all the money Epic makes from Fortnite – Hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions – within reach.
Last week, Epic introduced what it called “Creator Economy 2.0.” Under the new system, Epic will pay 40 percent of the Fortnite’s Creators net earnings each month based on how much players interact with their islands. This means that 40 percent of the money Epic makes is from things like V-Bucks Fortnite In-game crew and costume involvement (crossovers like YouTube star MrBeast, vampire Characters) – It all goes to the pool.
Fortnite It currently generates “billions of dollars in revenue annually from player purchases,” Sacks Pearson, Epic’s Executive Vice President at Fortnite Ecosystem, he said on stage In an unreal situation event last week. So even if we assume that translates to just $1 billion in net revenue annually, at least $400 million a year to catch him. But there’s one big problem: the in-game Epic Islands, including the groundbreaking Battle Royale mode, do exist also Eligible for payments from the revenue pool. Epic puts piles of money on the table, and then takes a bunch of it back.
How big a piece of the pie do content creators actually get? In State of Unreal, Pearson said that islands made by other creators account for “about 40 percent of the game time in Fortnite,” suggesting that not only does Epic keep 60 percent of the FortniteRevenue, but also 60 percent of the complex. But creators may get less than 40 percent of the 40 percent pool, as payments will be based on that. Engagement. Instead of direct playtime, Epic will determine payments based on whether the island brings in new players (or lapsed players) and if players return on a regular basis.
These metrics, in my opinion, still greatly favor Epic’s Private Islands. thing that saves I back to Fortnite Almost every day are premium battle cards from Epic, which offer things like new outfits as well as V-cash to spend in the in-game shop if you get enough experience by completing missions. The vast majority of these quests can only be done on the Epic Islands, which gives me little reason to branch out into something a non-epic creator made. It’s possible to gain experience while playing Creator-made islands, but these islands usually don’t give you the same experience you get from some of Epic’s handcrafted missions.
Payments will be the “primary way” Epic funds development of Fortnite
Epic will also use its payments as “the primary method for Epic to pay for our game development in Fortnite Pearson said in the Unreal State keynote. This seems to be just for making things like Battle Royale islands; Other money blocked to creators is used to fund the development of what Epic calls “Fortnite ecosystem development,” including things like game code, art, item shop content, marketing, and customer support, According to the FAQ. (You may need to be signed into your Epic account to follow this link.)
How Epic decides these payments can also be controversial, especially because Epic description Scales are very vague in the end. (The Company also reserves the right to block carrots it deems inappropriate, incl Clone Mario Kart and entertaining some Older Fortnite carrots.) The company would be open to criticism about how it pushes, Pearson told me in an interview—”Our job is to listen to that,” he says—but intentionally doesn’t disclose exactly how it metrics because it doesn’t. You don’t want to inadvertently provide the wrong kinds of incentives.
I also asked how Epic could expand the battle lanes to better integrate non-epic experiences and thus promote content creators other than themselves. (The company already sometimes does this, but in this new system where Epic pays Creators based on player interaction, keeping the battle pass focused on Epic could be an unfair advantage.) Pearson told me he expects battle passes to change to better incorporate the work from the creators. content outsiders, and while Pearson isn’t committed to when this will happen, he says “I think it’s an important question to get a better balance of what the battle card does today.”
Even without knowing how much money is actually available, the creators I spoke with thought the new system would be much better. “[T]Hey, they’re taking a step in the right direction to compensate creators for our hard work on the platform,” Casper Weber, CEO of Beyond Creative, which makes Fortnite Brand experiences, he told me in an email.
Under the previous “Support-A-Creator” system, content creators never made a dime when you played on their islands or bought their products from Fortnitea store. If you want to make sure that a creator you liked gets some cash, you need to know the individual ‘Creator Code’, and know exactly where to enter that code before I bought anything in the store, and then actually go through with it. Until then, this creator will only take 5 percent of your purchase. That’s why a lot Fortnite Creative studios have had to rely heavily on brand deals for income instead, effectively building virtual worlds solely to advertise brands like Verizon, Chipotle, or Balenciaga.
“Support-A-Creator was built around creators and those audiences, and it wasn’t really designed for Creative developers,” says R-leeo Maoate, co-owner, CEO, and Creative Director of Zen Creative. “I suspect [Creator Economy 2.0] It will be a much better way for creators like us to monetize, make a living, and motivate us to create better experiences.”
last Fortnite Content creators I spoke to similarly suggested this could lead to better islands for players. “Now to have a system that you can directly influence by creating a really great game, or if you have a game that players will spend hours [in] Or going back to every day — having Epic reward you for it and seeing that cash back as a big deal for us,” says Boomer Gurney, Creative Director of Game Development at Team PWR. (Though, as with the Support-A-System, Creator, creators will still need to earn at least $100 in payments within a year before they can actually cash out anything.)
These outside groups will now compete with Epic for revenue pool, but “in some ways, we’ve always been competing with Epic Islands,” Gurney says in an email. “As a team that has always prioritized player engagement and longevity of experiences, we are excited to now have a revenue system that directly supports these analytics.” They are also now on a more level playing field when it comes to development; Previously, only creators could create islands using the in-game Epic Fortnite Tools, but they now have access to the new Unreal Editor for Fortnite It adds a lot of features and allows creators to pull off custom graphics assets.
It seems that Epic is hoping this move will lead to new kinds of experiences that aren’t primarily about tense shooting and Complex building. “We want to grow by welcoming creators, offering new types of games and new ways to participate that go beyond the battle royale experience,” Epic CEO Tim Sweeney told my colleague Andrew Webster. It can lead to a wider audience for Fortnite than it is today. Incentives mean we might get something like Roblox’s Huge popularity adopt me! Life simulation – And if he succeeds in bringing permanent new players, those creators will get paid.
Now that they’re making money keeping gamers interested instead of creating ads for brands, teams like Team PWR and Zen Creative can put more energy into games that may focus squarely on having fun. The creators I spoke to about the new system learned on Wednesday — at the same time as others — and so far, they’re hopeful.
“We really came from not much, where you couldn’t really make a living in the last few months unless you were in the top one percent of creators,” Weber told me. “I’m mostly happy to see he’s moving somewhere.”
Updated March 28th, 12:24PM ET: Amended a few words to emphasize that Epic pays on a share-based basis regardless of island, and replaced references to creative mode with language about islands made by Creators.
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