Epic Games revolutionized video game development with Unreal Engine and each iteration has been better than the other. The latest, Unreal Engine 5, is arguably the best gaming engine on the market. Now, Epic is taking things a step further by sharing this industry-leading technology with Fortnite content creators.
Epic recently launched the Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN) during the recently concluded State of Unreal conference at the Game Developers Choice Award,s where it also unveiled Creator Economy 2.0 which aims to share profits with Fortnite creators.
"We've been working towards this moment for a very long time... Fortnite is becoming an ecosystem," Epic Games said. "That means new tools to design, develop and publish games, and a new economy that rewards developers. These updates bring us one step closer to Epic's vision of a connected metaverse with billions of players enjoy high-quality creations made by millions of developers."
It adds, "At the centre of this all is Unreal Editor for Fortnite, available today in public beta on Epic Games Store. It's a new PC application that brings the power of Unreal Engine to the scale of the Fortnite audience, deeply integrated with the game with new workflows that PC and all other platforms to create together, fast and fluid. We call it UEFN for short."
The showcase highlighted how easy it is for Fortnite creators to use assets that are available to create new maps and quests for the popular video game.
The UEFN will use the full Unreal Editor toolset including Fab assets and Metahumans. The latter is one of the technologies that Epic also showed off during the State of Unreal. The technology uses advanced AI modeling to make it easier for the developers to create cinematic cutscenes featuring real actors.
The company also released three tech demos to highlight what is possible with the use of UEFN. Deserted: Domination, Forest Guardian, and The Space Inside were shown in the short trailer and can be accessed on Fortnite's Pick Discover row.
Epic’s new Creator Economy is centered on engagement payouts for island publishers with a payout scheme based on its popularity and player retention.
Epic revealed that it has allocated 40% of the net revenue from Fortnite’s Item Shop and other related microtransactions to the engagement pool with content creators receiving monthly payouts.
"Epic builds and sells Fortnite cosmetics, often working with third-party IP owners to bring their work into Fortnite," the company said. "Starting March 1, 2023, Epic began reserving 40% of that revenue to distribute it based on the engagement created by eligible island publishers’ creative work, both yours and Epic’s. In this way, Epic will further reward creators for their creative work in Fortnite."
"Epic’s existing Support-A-Creator program that underpinned Creator Economy 1.0 remains, but is returning to its roots as an affiliate marketing program for streamers and social media content creators," it adds. "We’ve removed the Support-A-Creator device within Fortnite islands to keep gameplay focused on fun. Players can now show support for their favorite creators’ islands simply by playing them."
Unreal Editor for Fortnite is now available for download from the Epic Games Store.