We’re heading for a time when Fortnite and Roblox’s game may compete with those of Steam and the App Store. Both have expanding player bases of millions who create and invest time in unique battle royales, chat rooms, and a variety of other games. We’re observing the competition for what may become the next YouTube.
Although the two industry leaders, they are by no means the only businesses developing a set of tools that make the transition from playing to creating games much easier. Many systems, like the top-down-oriented CliCli and the browser-based Dot Big Bang, are competing for a slice of a market that already has hundreds of millions of people interested.
UGC is a really important issue, right? Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, explains to The Verge how his concept of the metaverse and user-generated content interact. “The labor of everyone on the globe is what will shape the future, and we are a very, very little, tiny part of that.”
Epic revealed that Fortnite presently has 70 million average monthly users, while Roblox reported that 250 million people switch between games on its platform each month.
While it is a far cry from the more than 2 billion monthly users of YouTube, it is not difficult to envision that one or more of these platforms may surpass that number in the next 20 years.
The economy and tools of these systems will probably undergo a substantial evolution throughout that period.
Many of the games that players create are straightforward because of the straightforward tools they employ to create experiences.
Many of the games accessible on Roblox or Fortnite are essentially clones of the originals. The intricacy of other platforms isn’t much different either. Before games may be of higher quality and diversity, tools still have a ways to go.
With the Unreal Editor for Fortnite, Epic has made a significant advancement in that regard. Verse, an unique coding language, as well as certain Unreal Engine capabilities, are included in Fortnite Creative. Just a few weeks have passed since the tool was made accessible, but users have already created portals, games of bespoke checkers, and visually gorgeous landscapes.
The Game Developers Conference exhibit fell short of demonstrating how the Unreal Editor can assist Fortnite developers in creating a variety of experiences. The future focus of Epic is mostly on that.
“The developer kit needs to include a lot more functions.” In terms of what can be created in Fortnite Creative, Sweeney explained that there are now a variety of programming languages, a set of APIs, and a set of APIs that can leverage interfaces.
“Yet they don’t reveal everything we wish to reveal.” We have a lot of work ahead of us—years’ worth of work—and will continue to make updates and enhancements until Fortnite effectively has all the components required to simulate every type of video game.
The few capabilities offered by these platforms are already being used by developers to create intriguing things.
They’ve changed the Roblox levels to appear exactly like Call of Duty battlefields and transformed the Fortnite lobby into a trivia party.
On the Fortnite Creativity island, they have imported and replicated the environment from the full Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild map. Some developers have even created their own Spider-Man-themed Roblox mechanics. These are just a few of the numerous instances; there are hundreds, and with each update, the tasks that players may do with these tools get trickier. Nevertheless, the motivation to accept that complexity isn’t as strong.
Similar to individuals who do so on YouTube, people trying to make a career on one of these platforms find themselves at the whim of the site.
These game developers have discovered that they must make their work appealing to the players who currently play Roblox and Fortnite. Creating something that is too unique could not work.
“If you push Roblox gamers too far, they’ll go to another game.” Roblox users log on for a particular kind of content, playing six to eight games at a time, according to Joe Ferencz, CEO and creator of Gamefam. According to Roblox, the longest session per game lasts 25 minutes, while the average player session lasts 2.5 hours. You must recognize that they are hopping between several games and handle them accordingly.
One of the game developers that has established a company that only works within the parameters of Roblox is Ferencz, who is the owner of the Roblox firm Gamefam.
It might be challenging to generate money without seeking outside the platform for funding because of obstacles like unequal revenue share percentages and a lack of discoverability on a site like Roblox. Some of the industry’s most prosperous developers—many of whom have banded together to establish studios like Gamefam—rely on branded agreements with organizations like Coca-Cola, Sega, and the NFL.
“If you consider what YouTube has achieved for video makers, you know, it has no entrance requirements and allows individuals to start small.
As ControlZee CEO and co-founder Robert Anderberg put it, “It allows people to obtain a type of small income, just kind of do it as a side thing, establish a channel, and ultimately become full-time creatives with equal compensation.” “From my view, the thing that we’re focusing on is establishing something that actually does compensate people equally,” the speaker said.
Anderberg has been emphatic that platforms should offer developers a fair portion of the money. His business is presently responsible for the browser-based UGC platform dot big bang.
He and several other players in the market think that the better platforms perform for the people who are attempting to make a career through them, the more they’ll succeed.
One of Epic’s major announcements at the Game Developers Conference has that as its main driving force.
The inventor of Fortnite is now offering its creators 40% of all sales made from the game, including the hugely popular Battle Royale mode. Developers of the Roblox game get around 25% of the revenue from their work.
The new income split in Fortnite may pose a direct threat to Roblox.
Sweeney and Epic SVP Sax Persson made it very clear several times that they supported an open ecosystem. They think that Fortnite might develop into such an advanced tool for game creation that users will be able to remove their games from it and sell them elsewhere, like on Steam. They believe that the key lies in the artists’ happiness.
“Believing in an open [environment] and still wanting people to stay in your ecosystem because you’re better than other ecosystems” is not incompatible, according to Persson.
“I don’t believe that having an open philosophy while providing the best chance for artists is a contradictory viewpoint.
It is a strategy, in our opinion. Making the shift to a different ecology difficult won’t help us, in my opinion. We want visitors to be here voluntarily, not because they are compelled to be.The games business has always relied heavily on user-generated content.
Games like PUBG, Counter-Strike, and Dota 2 started out as modifications of other games before becoming hugely popular stand-alone franchises.
We are now watching some of the biggest corporations in the field strive to capture and systematize the creative energy that drives modders and hobby-level game producers into their own ecosystem.