After a long wait and plenty of hype, Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN), which is often called Fortnite Creative 2.0 by fans, is out now, and Epic's hugely popular game will never be the same. For those who build their own games and experiences for Fortnite Creative mode, UEFN broadens and deepens the tools they have available by a huge degree.
It also alters the pay structure that creators will use with what Epic is calling Creator Economy 2.0--not to be confused with the aforementioned fan name for UEFN. Meanwhile, players who prefer to play Creative but not build in it themselves will benefit by having access to the coming influx of these projects. Players who have previously just seen Fortnite as a battle royale game may yet discover a whole new world with Creative mode. Here's everything you need to know about UEFN AKA Creative 2.0.
What is Unreal Editor for Fortnite?
Known as UEFN for short, Unreal Editor for Fortnite is a free application available now on the Epic Games Store which seeks to massively improve the tools players have at their disposal for creating new games and experiences within Fortnite Creative mode. Running on Unreal Engine 5 with several of the engine's most touted features, such as the Lumen lighting technology that was introduced with Fortnite Chapter 4 last December, UEFN has been whispered about for months as "Creative 2.0," a name that now proves a bit redundant given Epic's parallel unveiling of Creator Economy 2.0, which we'll get to further down in this article.
With UEFN, anyone can design, develop, and publish their own custom experiences directly into Fortnite Creative mode. The app is launching in a public beta state and co-exists with Fortnite's legacy Creative toolset, making it essentially an enhancement of those earlier tools rather than a wholesale replacement of them.
UEFN uses a new programming language created by Epic called Verse, which the studio took time to outline during its State of Unreal 2023 presentation from GDC. Players will need to get acquainted with Verse, though a live demo seemed to suggest it's relatively intuitive compared to some other programming languages, which historically have been one of the major barriers preventing some would-be creators from realizing their game dev dreams.
Alongside the reveal of UEFN, Epic has announced it is building a "unified 3D marketplace" called Fab Marketplace. As a singular storefront, it will combine several of Epic's most popular game dev toolsets that previously existed on their own: Unreal Engine Marketplace, Sketchfab, Quixel Bridge, and the ArtStation Marketplace. These tools will be available in UEFN as a plug-in one-stop-shop where players can quickly find pre-fabricated assets, artwork, and more just as they may have before--only now it will all be found in one place.
Creator Economy 2.0
Not to be confused with the commonly used fan name for UEFN--"Creative 2.0"--the Creator Economy 2.0 is a remodeling of how creators within the Fortnite ecosystem will earn money for their work. Previously players could enter a Creator Code when buying in-game items such as a seasonal battle pass, skins, and emotes. Creator Codes were provided by Epic to certain players, streamers, and content creators. However, that only helped creators if players remembered to manually enter their code when making purchases--though entering it just once would keep it there for future purchases unless otherwise undone by the player.
With Creator Economy 2.0, Epic is revising how players get paid. Moving forward, 40% of the money made from in-game purchases will go into an "engagement pool" to be paid out to eligible creators "including independent creators' islands, and Epic's own islands like Battle Royale." Those eligible include players age 18 or older whose Fortnite accounts are at least 90 days old.
In a lengthy blog post, Epic further explained how eligibility and payouts are calculated:
Engagement payouts reward creation of islands that players enjoy. Today, payouts are based on engagement metrics that contribute to the health of the overall Fortnite ecosystem. At launch, the metrics fall into two groups:
- Player Popularity: Islands that attract new players and re-engage lapsed players signal an experience that Fortnite players love, so the number of players newly joining Fortnite, and lapsed players returning to Fortnite contribute to this calculation.
- Player Retention: Islands where players return day-to-day and week-to-week indicate compelling gameplay, so consistent play and returning players contribute to this calculation.
Over time we expect the tracking metrics will change based on creator and player feedback, and we will update you of such changes as they occur.
Epic said it plans to roll out additional features which will reward players younger than 18 for their efforts, as well, though had no concrete details to share just yet. Players who wish to apply to become an official creator within Fortnite can do so here.
Epic's Picks - UEFN launch experiences
To help introduce players to the potential of UEFN, Epic has worked with several creators to showcase a few projects on launch day. Players can head into Fortnite's Discovery tab in-game and find several new UEFN-made projects under a banner titled Epic's Picks.
Projects include Deserted: Domination, Forest Guardian, and The Space Inside, which you'll also see glimpses of in the trailer below.
UEFN has finally arrived after months of speculation. For some players, these new tools should help them expand their creativity and more seamlessly earn money for their work. But for the Fortnite community as a whole, which Epic said includes 70 million monthly active users, this may well prove to be a major reimaging of what is often considered a battle royale game first and foremost.
As Epic wasn't shy about using the term "metaverse" during its 2023 GDC keynote presentation, it's clear that Epic sees player-driven content as a battleground in the next 10 years and beyond. With platforms and companies such as Roblox, Meta, and more all competing to be the name in virtual hangout spaces and all-in-one platforms of the future, Epic is betting big on Fortnite to keep its lead over the competition.
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