Fornite Adds "Party Worlds" To Give You A Space To Hang Out With Friends

Epic Games is encouraging players to make social spaces in Fortnite that focus on self-expression and aren't about combat.

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Fortnite is more than just a game about shooting other players, and with the introduction of its new Party Worlds, it's providing more options for folks who want to engage with the game without combat. The new social spaces are meant to focus on hanging out and making friends, without the added pressure of competing in a battle royale or facing down enemies in Save the World.

Developer Epic Games released a blog post detailing the Party Worlds concept, showing off two such locations while also inviting players to make their own in Fortnite Creative. The spaces Epic showcased are Walnut World, a forest-themed amusement park created by Fortnite player fivewalnut, and Late Night Lounge, a club-like location created by player TreyJTH.

The post encourages players to make and share their own social spaces, some of which Epic will highlight in Fortnite's Creative mode. There are some stipulations, though. Party Worlds are a little different from Hubs--where Hubs are about showcasing content you can try, Party Worlds are meant to be social destinations. Epic also detailed what it's looking for in player-created Party Worlds:

  • Party Worlds should not be threatening. They shouldn’t center on combat or damage.
  • Party Worlds should have a high focus on self-expression through emotes, sprays, outfit changes, or other mechanics.
  • Party Worlds should encourage social interaction, giving people a way to make new friends or team up with existing friends in new ways.

Fortnite has long been known for its major social events, including concerts by musicians such as Ariana Grande and screenings of movies such as Inception. With Party Worlds, it sounds like Epic is pushing even harder on the idea that Fortnite can just be a virtual space for people to hang around, rather than one where you need to engage in competitive gameplay--although Party Worlds may also include minigames to give their occupants something to do besides talking.

That's in keeping with the way the company and Fortnite's developers talk about concepts like the "metaverse," the idea of online virtual spaces that meld social interaction, gaming, media, and other forms of entertainment (or even work) into a sort of online life. Epic often discusses Fortnite as a "platform" rather than a game, and with Party Worlds, it's finding new ways to make Fortnite relevant to people who might not want to use it for actual gaming. Time will tell whether, and how well, those social spaces actually catch on, however. For all the headlines Fortnite grabs with its in-game events, the bread-and-butter remains the game's ongoing battle royale live game.

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