Fortnite is the future, but for rather unexpected reasons.
Much has already been said about Fortnite, about its revenues, users, business models, origins and multiplatform. But around all these stories too much hype. The most important thing is how all these achievements, complemented by the rest of Epic Games, will last forever in the entertainment industry.
In 2018, one could read a lot about Fortnite , and learn even more from it. “This game” is indeed the future of the entertainment industry (as well as the most serious threat to modern media giants). But probably not quite in the sense in which you think. The real possibilities of Fortnite are much broader and more significant than the effect that the game has today. In fact, most success storiesFortnite is overly throws, even if its long-term evolution is critically perceived.
We have much to make out, so for starters, I will analyze this hype, and then move on to what Fortnite will turn into and tell you about why Epic Games has a unique opportunity to realize this potential.
The reason for the hype number 1: revenues
Let's start by mentioning one of the most significant achievements today at Fortnite : extraordinary profit generation. In May 2018 (that is, when the registered user base was 38% less than today), FortDite estimated SuperData earned at $ 318 million per month . For comparison, Avengers: War of Infinity (the highest-yielding film of 2018) earned 2.1 billion dollars worldwide, Candy Crush (which, unlike Fortnite , is available in China) earned a maximum of about 150 million per month, and major release in game history - Grand Theft Auto: Vearned 1 billion dollars in the first five days (it is noteworthy that the game was sold using a one-time payment model). No game has yet reached Fortnite's sales figures , let alone that it saves them month after month.
However, the latter is not entirely true. Games that earn billions of dollars a year have already been on the market for about ten years, but only a few of them have gained popularity in the West. Puzzle Dragon 2012 and Monster Strike 2013 have earned more than 7 billion dollars each each day, League of Legends is not far behind them . Honor of Kings (AKA Arena of Valor ) 2016 is approaching gross revenue of $ 4 billion.Fate / Grand Order has already earned more than 2 billion (the game was developed by DelightWorks, 100% owned by a single owner - Akihito Shoji). In 2018, when Fortnite and PUBG were released , the Fate / Grand Order game was mentioned in the most tweets. Disney's Tsum Tsum , a mobile game based on a Disney plush toy line, has earned more than 1.5 billion. And it is noteworthy that the majority of these games generated almost all of their income in just two markets: in Japan and in China (although let's be honest, Fortnite has not yet been released in China). However, there were record games that, like Fortnite , became hits in the West.Pokémon Go , for example, earned more than 2 billion dollars, and Candy Crush Saga - already more than 5 billion.
The reason for the rush number 2: the business model
The most exciting achievement of Fortnite in the eyes of the media business is the ability to achieve such revenues ... without requiring users to pay a cent. The Fortnite player does not have to pay for downloading, for the gameplay, for access to any functions of the game, expanding it or allowing to win. All proceeds come from the sale of purely cosmetic items, jewelry, such as avatars / costumes, or the Battle Pass, which helps users to participate in additional competitions and track their progress. It does not contribute to further progress in the game and does not give advantages in battle (all parents should know that every dollar spent on Fortnite was not obligatory).
But again, high-yield free (“free-to-play”) games have also been on the market for more than a decade. In fact, it turns out that the most effective way to generate billions of dollars is not to require the player to spend a single dollar (all the aforementioned multi-billion games also have a free-to-play model). Although spending money in some of these games helps players (for example, gives extra lives in Candy Crush ), they just as often do not provide any competitive advantage or help (as, for example, in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ).
It is also noteworthy that the development and provision of functionality Fortnitecost much more and generate a financially lower income from a much larger number of players than some of the other free-to-play games, such as Honor of Kings or Fate / Grand Order . Of course, Fortnite's revenues are enviable, but far from unprecedented, and not even the best examples of the potential of this category of games.
The reason for the rush number 3: cross-platform
Another popular aspect of Fortnite discussion concerns the availability and functionality of the game on a variety of platforms. Absolutely identical (full) versions of the game are available not only on all major consoles, but also on mobile devices. Therefore, anyone and anywhere can play Fortnite on virtually any device. In addition, any players in Fortnite, regardless of the device, can play with each other. Such comprehensive cross-platform integration is rarely found in the gaming industry. In fact, it turned out to be possible only due to the extraordinary success of the game, which forced Sony to abandon the principle of online isolationism that had been observed for more than a decade and allow the joint game with Xbox, PC and other platforms (and not only forFortnite ).
At the same time, Fortnite’s achievements in this area are mainly an iterative contribution to already existing trends. Games for many years have been selectively cross-platform, and Fortnite was not the first game on different platforms, having identical functionality. What makes Fortnite so unique is that it made the entire industry support cross-platform and expanded accessibility not only among all mobile devices or consoles / PCs, but also between them, without the slightest compromise in functionality.
On the other hand, the very same accomplishments actually undermine the value of Fortnite's staggering income .. Each of the other billions of the aforementioned billions of games has reached its sales on only one platform - mobile (or PC, as in the case of League of Legends ). Fortnite achieved its records through a combination of several platforms: mobile, PC, PS4, Xbox, Switch, etc.
The reason for the hype number 4: popularity
The fourth main topic of discussion is the extreme popularity of Fortnite . In November 2018, the game reached 200 million registered accounts (however, the number of active users is unknown), and just five months before that there were 125 million. From this point of view, Fortnite is probably the largest media event in the history of mankind. Today, with more than six months in a row, the game has at least one million active users with a high probability. All of them are involved in a common and inseparable gameplay, stretching over several "seasons", storylines and events (compare this with Candy Crushin which the gameplay is isolated and unique for each player). In particular, the opening of the sixth season, which began on November 4, 2018 at exactly 1:00 pm EST, an explosion of a metaphysical cube that appeared in the fourth season, was watched by more than 5 million active users and almost 4 million passive spectators who watched the game in Twitch and on YouTube.
These achievements are significant and unprecedented. But they were not completely unexpected. Cybersport as a category has been on the rise for many years., and Twitch constantly gets to the Top 30 TV channels in the United States by total viewing time. The fact that the new extremely popular game is capable of attracting millions of viewers to the events should not have come as a surprise. As an example, you can take Ninja, the most popular streamer on Twitch. In December, he single-handedly streamed almost seven hours a day, and on average 50 thousand viewers watched him per minute, with a peak of 600 thousand and more than 10 million unique visitors.
The reason for the hype number 5: the history of
However, the most attractive topic for the press was how and by whom Fortnite was created . Although the creator of Fortnite , Epic Games, has a long history of developing and publishing games, game creation is more of a research process and marketing investment along with the company's main business: licensing the Unreal game engine to third-party companies. It is therefore surprising that such a monocultural hit appeared in Epic. Yes, Epic had previously developed hit games, including the Gears of War franchise , which sold about 30 million copies and earned more than $ 1 billion, won several awards for Game of the Year , and is soon awaiting a Universal film.
Another popular topic concerns the evolution of Fortnite . The original version of the game, released in July 2017 and now renamed Fortnite : Save the World , was not particularly successful. The game did not enjoy success until three months later the “royal battle” mode appeared in it (obviously, copied from PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds , which first popularized the Battle Royale format). Since the original Save the World mode was developed for seven years and failed after release, Fortnite is often described as an occasional success.
Even if this is the case, then Fortnitewas not the first example of casual success in the entertainment industry. Fifty Shades of Gray , for example, began as a Twilight fan fiction . Author of the book A.L. James had no plans, no desire to publish it professionally (but since then she has surpassed sales in the British Amazon "Harry Potter" ). At the same time, it seems unfair to say that Fortnite: Battle Royale was just lucky. The task of Epic as a developer of the engine was in its understanding and optimization for new genres and game dynamics. Moreover, Fortnite has always been designed with versatility in mind. Epic wanted to keep Counter-Strike and Call of Duty "live or die", but at the same time sought to connect it in a logical way with the sandbox Minecraft . Therefore, such a turn for the game was natural (and in fact - the speed with which the Battle Royale was released , suggests that this mode was developed long before the release of Save the World ).
Fortnite is a revolutionary game, even though its individual contribution was merely a development of trends. Evidence of the success of the game was the ability to use Fortnite to launch its own game distribution platform (Epic Store) in December 2018. But even this can not be called something revolutionary. Valve successfully used Counter-Strike to promote the digital store (Steam) back in 2003 (when the iTunes Store appeared), and since that time it has earned more than 20 billion dollars (now more than 4.5 billion dollars is generated annually), but this The story is too old to attract much press attention today.
At the same time, the achievements of Fortnitesignificant as a whole - especially if you compare them with more extensive resources and Epic ambitions. And they can predict the future of not only Fortnite and video games, but the entire entertainment industry.
Fortnite and longevity challenges
If Fortnite will play an important role in the future of Epic (not to mention the media in general), then it is necessary to solve its main problem and eliminate the cause of the most widespread criticism: the popularity of the game cannot and will not last long.
It is very easy to overestimate the importance, significance and vitality of any game, especially when it becomes part of a monoculture. The most enduring franchises in the gaming industry actually did not survive in the traditional sense, they are constantly re-interpreted and implemented in new game genres and formats in order to maintain their relevance.
Consider for example Warcraft . The game began as a real-time strategy.(Real-time Strategy, RTS) (and some still play it). This genre dominated online gaming from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. But then it evolved into a much larger game of the genre Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO or MMORPG) called World of Warcraft , which was leading in the late 2000s. The third RTS game of the franchise, Warcraft III , meanwhile spawned the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre (in which League of Legends is in the lead ), where the Warcraft entourage was used in Heroes of the Storm . And since 2014, Warcraft has adapted to the peripheral category of games,the genre of collectible card games (to which, for example, the online Magic: The Gathering ) belongs in Hearthstone . This process bears little resemblance to the traditional Hollywood definition of franchise renewal, in which some kind of intellectual property (for example, James Bond) with time undergoes only stylistic changes and the evolution of the narrative.
Naturally, the emergence of new genres (one of the latter is the “royal battle”) means that most popular games usually change about every five years. Not so long ago, the main topic of discussion of digital media was Candy Crush , and then League of Legends , but now both of them were overshadowed by Fortnite (although they remain about as popular). Nevertheless, Warcraft showed that updating the franchise gives the hit game the ability to constantly support itself (and dominate its category). But the important thing is that this advantage is not final. The MOBA genre, for example, came about after a player modified the Warcraft III code to create a new game calledDefense of the Ancients . However, Warcraft MOBA , Heroes of the Storm , is in third place and is far behind League of Legends from Riot and Dota 2 Valve (which was created after the company hired the author Defense of the Ancient ).
Therefore, it is important to emphasize that Fortnite has no ready-made franchise or history. Although there are plot seasons, culminating in beautiful moments, expected and observed by millions, these events are usually associated with new features or changes in the game map. There are no characters in the game, almost no goals, except for those that, after completing 20 strange minutes of the game, must be pursued anew, there is no reasonable explanation for what is happening.
Therefore, many believe that the popularity of Fortnite will not last long; despite her fame, she will inevitably fail in the next popular game genre and has no plot / characters on the basis of which something can be changed. But this look is too narrow.
(Many also believe that Fortnite is already in decline, and this opinion is mainly associated with reduced press attention. December 2018, for example, was the best month for Fortnite on iOS, where revenues grew by 83% compared with the previous month, and 16% compared with the previous July peak).
Bigger than fortnite
Former Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale said the famous words that there are only two basic business models: combining (connecting several products and / or services into one package) and sharing (the opposite situation, when consumers buy a single product that performs a single task) . Fortnite: Battle Royale since the release was essentially a separation - it separated not only from Fortnite: Save the Worldbut also from the gaming industry as a whole. There was no plot, no characters, no context from the stories, no “missions”, no other modes, such as single player mode or controlled multiplayer (i.e., players cannot choose with whom they want or don’t want to play, and the number players in the match). It was just a battle royale for 100 people. You land on the island and fight until only one is left. Wash off, lather, repeat.
But over the past year, Fortnite has demonstrated its ability to integrate with the gaming industry as a whole. Today, for example, on the same Fortnite mapThere may be several types of terrain (snow, ice, desert, forest, plains, etc.), each of which in shooters is usually a separate map. Also, the game constantly adds time-limited modes, such as the imitation of flag capture, the ability to become Thanos from the movie Avengers: War of Infinity and disco-dominance (in which players get points by dancing on the dance floor scattered around the map). Constant evolution takes place with the seasonal plots of the game. In the sixth season, which fell on Halloween, the map was overflowing with zombie-like creatures generated by the purple monoliths that emerged in the fifth season. Fortnite every few weeksalso adds (or removes) new models of interaction (players can drive racing cards and fight in cars, participate in airplane battles, use flying balls and gliders to circle around the map and arrange airfights, and so on). In addition, players can perform individual tasks in order to receive experience points, rewards and equipment - for example, a game may ask a player to travel through different areas of the map and not be killed. In each of these changes, fast iterations based on the data are taken into account. Fortnite development teamhas the ability to closely monitor the perception of each change, its impact on the total game time, match duration, performance, and so on. They do everything so that the changes “work”, so that the game does not seem “static” or “solved”.
Such changes, even the fundamental transition from Save the World to the Battle Royale - this is what Fortnite is intended for . The implication was that Fortnite should combine the dynamics of shooters with the Minecraft sandbox style so that players could define their own playing style. However, such extensibility threatens a wide range of games. Why, for example, to buy an aircraft simulator, if you can play airplane gunfightsFortnite (and do it with your friends)? Although a new game format or a hit game can always appear, Fortnite has the unique ability to turn into such a game, or expand its functions (it is important to emphasize here that Epic's earnings from the Unreal engine depend on its ability to create / maintain any gameplay types).
“Fortnite is Netflix’s most dangerous competitor.”
However, the most significant achievement of Fortnite could be the role it played in the lives of millions. For players, Fortnite has become a platform for everyday communication - a digital shopping center or a virtual after-school meeting that brings together neighborhoods, cities, countries and continents. This role is supported by the free Fortnite , high-quality voice chat, cross-platform and collective gameplay. Therefore, there are many examples of how children, adults and families just hang out or meet playing Fortnite . Studies show that players in Fortnitethey spend every day in the game from one to one and a half hours (compare this with thirty minutes of the Snapchat or Instagram active users). Fortnite was not intended as a Second Life game or even as a digital “ third place ”; she became them in a natural way. Moreover, it greatly exceeds the monetization of specialized social platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, even if you take them all together.
In other words, Fortnite has yet to prove its long-term viability. But it has already shown the ability to evolve, transform into other games and, more importantly, become a platform for meetings. Fortnite is not a franchise in the traditional sense. But it is a platform. Therefore, the gameplay is less important than enthusiasm, and enthusiasm is a springboard for the larger ambitions of Epic Games. And in this regard, we should not consider Epic as the creator of Fortnite .
Trophy Lake Epic
When listing resources and benefits, Epic is best to start with Unreal. Although most major developers have their own engines, Epic is unique in that its core business (at least historically) was licensing the engine to third-party companies. Unreal Engine 4 is one of the most powerful and popular engines in the world (it is used in games like Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade Behavior, Kingdom Hearts III Square-Enix and the upcoming Yoshi's Crafted World Nintendo). Very few mechanics or graphical functions cannot be created in Unreal or on its basis. In addition, the engine quickly masters new areas. For example , NASCAR studio is now fully rendered in Unreal in real time., it is increasingly used in online and updated AR virtual tours, in architectural modeling, and so on. Epic's next goal is to achieve cinema-quality rendering, as can be seen from the wonderful demos shown at GDC 2018 and the recent purchase of a 3Lateral startup engaged in “digital human rendering”.
Secondly, in just one year, Epic created another serious advantage that she had achieved with difficulty: more than 200 million registered user accounts. Each of these accounts has an individual email address, in many cases a clear social link graph, two-factor authorization via a mobile phone number, and often a credit card link. These accounts / documents are already larger and more diverse than in any other game (for example, in Counter-Strike ), on the console (PS4) or on the gaming platform (Stream). This is less than on iOS / Android and social platforms, but the free and accessible Fortnite will continue to promote and expand the company's existing account base.
Thirdly, Epic has a significant annual revenue generation. At the end of 2018, the company received an additional 1.25 billion investment by investors. These investments have surprised many, given the independent estimates of the annual income from Fortnite . Therefore, it is likely that Epic plans significant investments in its next big project - this hypothesis is confirmed by the acquisition of 3Lateral, as well as other companies . The idea that Epic is obsessed with something other than Fortnite will surprise those who seek to achieve its popularity, but Epic's long-term ambitions have been obvious for quite some time.
1 vs 99
Assessing the resources of Epic, you need to deal with the most serious problems of the company. Despite all the success of Fortnite, Epic still believes it is in the business of licensing game engines. Unreal's own engine is licensed to independent developers (usually for 5% of the revenue, although it is often bought back) to help these developers create their games. Unreal provides basic tools and game development functionality, such as physics engines and rendering. Thanks to the help of Epic, independent developers can focus on the creative side of games and not create all the functionality from scratch (think how difficult it would be to make a film if you had to create cameras, pencils, film, etc.). In addition, Unreal standardizes most of the engine for multiple platforms (for example, PlayStation, Xbox, iOS), thus allowing the developer to more easily support different devices, instead of
However, in the further development Unreal ran into four problems - three of them are related to the peculiarities of the market, the latter is existential. First, Unreal is far from being a market standard. None of the major publishers (for example, Activision-Blizzard) actively use Unreal. Usually they develop and use their own proprietary engines, because it increases flexibility and reduces risks associated with the supplier (in addition, serious publishers can afford to finance their own engines). Secondly, another independent engine, Unity, remains much more common, especially on mobile platforms. Compared to Unreal, the Unity engine is usually considered less powerful, but it is cheaper, faster, and technically easier to use. Considering the modest needs of mobile gaming,
Thirdly, the threat is represented by the transition to cloud gaming, which allows the developer / publisher to automatically release games on several platforms (if not most) using a single cloud system with streaming data. This not only reduces the value of multi-platform engines like Unreal, but also creates an opportunity for other companies to develop a much simpler game engine, originally designed and optimized for cloud use. In this way, you can take market share from Epic (both from Unity and Source ...). This is especially true for companies with their own distribution models (for Amazon, for example, which developed its own Lumberyard engine specifically for AWS, and is now going to launch a cloud-based gaming service that will no doubt be integrated with Prime and Twitch). And fourthly, Epic will not be able to own most of the end-user software infrastructure (for example, the OS on which its games are launched, the channels through which they are delivered, the customer service system, and so on). This does not mean that Epic cannot be a standard for cloud systems, but to become one, a company must offer much more than increased rendering capabilities (their current advantage) and increased ease of use / cheapness.
Finally, we need to study Epic’s stated and intended goals. In August 2018, Epic announced plans to distribute Fortnite for Android devices outside the Google Play store (thus avoiding a 30% commission). Given the income of Fortnite , such a commission is certainly economically significant. At the same time, there are several online games that can cope with this risk factor, especially given that each dollar in additional income represents almost 100 percent profit (after deducting commission and taxes). The problem of commission arises when selling third-party content. For example, suppose Epic sells a $ 10 copy of Super Mario Run through Fortniteon iOS, Epic will owe Apple $ 3, and so if Epic takes a commission less than 30%, then at best it will go to zero. Epic founder Tim Sweeney has often argued that the 30% standard is both usury and independent innovation innovations (which we will discuss later in the article).
Therefore, three months after the decision to refuse to work with Google Play Store, Epic announced the launch of its own consumer digital store with only 12% of deductions (they also include deductions of 5% from Unreal licensing, if it was used in creating the game). There are also rumors that Sweeney fought for an even lower share, but agreed with the company's board about 12% - an amount that, according to him, does not always cover operating expenses.. Nevertheless, Epic Games Store reflects the desire to use the base of more than 200 million Fortnite accounts , along with finances and the Epic engine, in order to become an ecosystem-based platform. This goal is consistent with Sweeney’s desire to create a metaverse (Metaverse).
The term “metaverse” (Metaverse) first appeared in Neal Stevenson’s 1992 novel Avalanche . It describes a collective virtual space created by the merging of augmented virtuality of physical reality and virtual space. In its completed form, the meta-universe should embrace most of the virtual worlds (or all worlds), become fundamental for interactions with augmented reality in the real world, and also serve as the equivalent of a “digital” reality in which all “physical” people coexist. This is a new evolutionary stage of the Internet. In a more general form, the metaverse should resemble the world described in Ernest Klein’s “First Player Prepare” (in 2018, Steven Spielberg made a film of the same name).
Of course, the first versions of the metaverse will be much simpler, but its fundamental elements will be deeper than just the “games”. In particular, we will see how in-game economies (for example, trading, exchanging and buying things) will become more like an “industry” in which people will literally “work”.
“If we analyze why people are paid for their work, this is because they create a product or provide a service that is valuable for someone,” said Sweeney Venturebeat in 2017 . “For this, there is the same potential in virtual environments as in the real world. If you play a game or do something in the virtual world, you improve someone's life, then you can pay for it. "
From this point of view, the most important difference between an active game, includingFortnite , and the metaverse in that the latter “should not be for a developer simply a way to extort money from users. This should be a bidirectional process in which users participate. Someone pays, someone sells, someone buys, and there is a real economy in which everyone can be rewarded for participating in many different ways ”(something similar has existed for more than twenty years in the form of a so-called pharming , in which players hired by large companies, usually from low-income countries, spend their time collecting digital resources for sale within the game or on external sites.
According to Sweeney, the meta-universe is the “next version” of the Internet, and the question is not whether it will appear, but when it will appear. Moreover, he believes that the fundamental technology will soon become available : “The most important thing that we lack is“ deep input ”, received from cameras looking inside and out, tracking facial expressions and our surroundings ... This technology is already working and costing dozens one thousand dollars. Probably, we have only three years to wait for her. ”
Epic, Fortnite and Metaverse
The impending possibility (and inevitability) of the appearance of the Metaverse does not depend on whether Epic can or will create it. But obviously, Sweeney wants to create an open Metauniverse before anyone else can develop a closed one. Many are already trying to do this.
Sweeney talks about the Metaverse in terms of her ability to connect people in new ways. Mark Zuckerberg often said the same thing , and for this reason he acquired Oculus: “From the point of view of strategy, we want to start creating the next most important computing platform that will appear after mobile. There are not so many candidates for this place ... Oculus is a bet on the future of computing systems ... Virtual and augmented reality will become part of people's daily lives. ”
Of course, Zuckerberg wants the platform to be controlled by Facebook, noting that “history tells us that new platforms will appear and whoever creates and forms them [will shape the future and reap the benefits].”
This is precisely what Sweeney is afraid of, and this motivates him to ensure that Epic seizes the initiative as soon as possible. “When we connect these platforms to the Metauniverse, if they turn out to be closed and managed by proprietary companies, they will have much more power over our lives, personal data and personal relationships with people than any other platform in the entire history, ” Sweeney saidin may 2017. Two months later, he said: “Google and Facebook have more power. President Eisenhower said something similar about the military-industrial complex. They pose a deadly threat to our democracy. ” (Sweeney also said that as the “founder and controlling shareholder of Epic” he “will never allow” Epic to “share user data ... with any other company. We [will not] share them, sell them, or give broker access for advertising as many other companies do. ”
Why Fortnite is positioned as the beginning of the Metaverse
To be successful, any social network must begin with becoming valuable or useful to users, and not strive for the goal to be a social network. Similarly, Fortnite ’s great advantage lies not in the fact that it was created as the basis of the Metaverse, but in that it is already a large-scale social platform and the MetaUnion properties gradually begin to appear.
Proof of Fortnite’s unique potential was demonstrated live on February 1, 2019. At 14 hours Eastern Time, DJ Marshmello (located in the tenth place in the Top 100 of the magazine DJ Magazine) held inside Fortniteconcert. This event, synchronized with Marshmello itself, was visited by more than ten million users in the game, and millions of others watched it live on Twitch and YouTube. Many of them used their characters' dance moves to participate in the event. This demonstrated the potential of the Metaverse (including payment for performances, music copyright, etc.), allowing the user to have unlimited possibilities within the same medium.
In addition to having an existing social platform, Epic and Fortnite have many other advantages in being able to create the Metaverse. The first is the scale of coverage of Fortnite.determined by the number of users multiplied by the frequency of use multiplied by the duration of use multiplied by the number of devices multiplied by the size of the social graph of each user (for example, friends in social networks). Equally important is the ability of Fortnite to run on all platforms (a virtual world that is only available from time to time is not suitable for creating the universe), as well as the ability to monetize without requiring and not providing benefits from in-game purchases (this allows the metaunited Fortnite to be both egalitarian and accessible for all segments of the population and all regions).
It is also worth emphasizing that the principle of monetization of Fortnite is based on individuality, that is, on how the player choosesdisplay themselves in the digital world through skins and avatars stored in an Epic account. Therefore, owners of third-party franchises seek to add their content to Fortnite to generate additional income, increase the attractiveness and level of player attachment (hence the integration of the Disney Thanos from Avengers in May 2018 and Ralph in November 2018, as well as the introduction of NFL official T-shirts in same year). Such extensions are critical to the ability of Fortnite to maintain interest and increase user reach. From this point of view, Fortnite can even survive thanks tothe fact that she does not have her entourage and characters. If Thanos or a virtual concert appeared in World of Warcraft , it would create dissonance and harm Laura.
In addition, there are a number of technical issues. The ability to build Epic's Universe company depends on its ability to create real-time animations, as well as on rendering technologies for people and virtual environments. All this is developing rapidly today (and many works are funded by Unreal license holders). In the end, the Metauniverse will require a truly lively, extensive, and functional imitation of the real, the unreal, and the imaginary.
Finally what Fortnitebased on Unreal, allows Epic to add new features and capabilities, as well as integrate third-party games created on this engine. In addition, as indicated in the Epic cloud computing roadmap, it will soon be possible to support Unity and other game engines (obviously, mutual compatibility will be crucial for any Metauniverse and it has long been a desirable goal for Sweeney).
The latter is critically important, because the concept of the Metauniverse does not mean that external franchises are being introduced to a multi-user or multi-purpose platform (as happened with Marshmello). Rather, it means establishing links between different platforms, forms of content and processes: the player must be able to literally pass through the door as a Fortnite character and be in another world (using his own character from this world) - remember Jack Skellington who came to the city of Christmas, or ralph jumping in different arcade games. Marshmello is an important demonstration of such potential, but much more work is required to create this reality.
In subsequent years, Fortnite may become irrelevant, and Epic may not be able to launch its long-awaited Metaverse. Or maybe they both survive, but only to become only the foundation for their followers. However, Epic has tremendous opportunities. Although the royal battle “1 against 100”) may seem like a strange bus into the future, in the digital era, the largest platforms and industry-changing events were rarely thought of to achieve such goals. In the end, Facebook was first student Hot or Not, and Netflix was created to avoid overpayments for DVD rental. The difference here is that Sweeney is astutely aware of the possibility of creating the Metaverse, as well as the fact that Fortnite can pave the way . It will not be an accident.