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This Fortnite Creative Mode Is As Popular As Epic's Own Modes--And Bigger Than The Game That Inspired It

Fortnite Creative mode is home to thousands of creations, including one that is inching closer to the popularity of Epic's own modes.


Fortnite is usually considered a battle royale game first and foremost, but the recent arrival of Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN), or "Creative 2.0" to the fans, has ushered in a wave of new game modes and experiences that may signal the future of the game is less like PUBG and more like Roblox. Only Up Fortnite is the debut Creative project from a user simply named army. Based on Only Up, an indie released on Steam in May of this year, the third-person platformer asks players to climb an elaborate and vertically built obstacle course, where risky shortcuts are abundant and falling often means starting from scratch.

While Only Up currently enjoys 7,000+ "Mostly Positive" reviews on Steam and has become a rising hit among some popular streamers, concurrent player counts indicate that the Fortnite version is already much more popular. At time of writing, the original indie game has about 8,600 concurrent players. Fortnite's version, in the middle of a Wednesday, has over 100,000 concurrent players according to in-game counts Epic recently added to the Creative menu.

That number doesn't just tower over its inspirator. It's also gaining on, and in some cases surpassing, Epic's own modes. Party Royale, the combat-free hangout space where players tend to show off rare emotes and skins, has just 4,500 players currently playing, with another 9,000 players in Team Rumble, a favorite mode for players completing certain types of challenges or those looking for a lower-stakes version of the game's usual PvP.

Ranked battle royale has about 135,000 players currently, just 30% more than the user-made mode. In Creative mode, the next most popular game after Only Up Fortnite has 26,000 players right now, roughly only a quarter of the viral game's total.

Despite its name, you can also go down in Only Up Fortnite. It's just you won't want to.
Despite its name, you can also go down in Only Up Fortnite. It's just you won't want to.

For now, classic battle royale and No Build battle royale seem safe as the top attractions, with 380,000 and 230,000 concurrent players, respectively, but the success of Only Up Fortnite points to a possible changing of the guard. Epic has no plans to stop developing for battle royale, said Tim Sweeney in a recent interview with Ali-A, but the game will continue to evolve, both within the mode that made it an almost overnight sensation, and Creative, which may be seen as the more malleable platform for the game's next decade and beyond. UEFN was a major step in that regard, and we've surely only seen the very beginnings of how the revised user-generated content engine will alter Fortnite in the long term.

As for indie developers, they too will need to consider how to adapt to Fortnite's ability to shapeshift so swiftly. Such an example gave us the battle royale mode in the first place, when Epic usurped PUBG's genre throne in 2017 at what felt like record speed, but it's also gotten the studio into trouble over the years. In 2021, Epic unveiled Impostors mode, a blatant Among Us copycat that stayed in the game for many months. Public backlash against Epic, seen as the Goliath to Innersloth's David, led to the studio offering a public mea culpa in the form of an official Among Us collaboration with the tiny indie studio. Impostors was eventually removed from Fortnite, though it's unclear if this occurred due to the public reaction or whether or not it will ever return.

Mark Delaney on Google+

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