Fortnite has become the most popular game on the planet, with 250 million active players worldwide. But it’s much more than just a game, according to its creator.
Epic Games sees Fortnite evolving into something even bigger. “Something like a Metaverse,” according to CEO Tim Sweeney.
Fortnite really took off when it introduced its free-to-play Battle Royale mode in late 2017. Its unique building mechanic, coupled with weekly updates that keep the game feeling fresh, have made it incredibly appealing across all platforms.
Fortnite’s new Creative mode, which lets friends build their own maps and games, has proven an incredibly successful addition, too. 100 million players have been enjoying it since it launched last December, Sweeney says.
Epic’s eventual goal is to turn Fortnite into an even greater place for players to gather online — a virtual world where friends can meet and hang out.
Fortnite could be the biggest Metaverse
“We’re a digital ecosystem company,” Sweeney explained during a rare chat with Business Insider. In addition to Fortnite and its popular Creative mode, Epic offers the Unreal Engine, which 7.5 million developers are using to build games.
Epic’s ultimate goal is to bring it all closer together and establish a “continuum.” Sweeney would like a Metaverse in which people can transition from playing Fortnite, to building in Fortnite, to developing with the Unreal Engine.
“Nothing like this exists right now, but we’re seeing it emerge this year,” Sweeney added. “It’s exciting.”
’The most positive gamer community’
Sweeney recognizes that Epic has a responsibility to maintain the “great experience” offered by Fortnite as it gradually broadens its scope. He feels the game already boasts “the most positive gamer community that’s ever emerged from a game at this scale.”
That’s partly because of the tone set by the game, Sweeney says. Fortnite doesn’t take itself too seriously, so players don’t take it too seriously, either. The vast majority play just to have fun rather than to compete.
Fortnite certainly doesn’t suffer the toxicity found in other online games. The players you meet in random duos and squads games seem to be much friendlier than those you’ll find in other games — even those you’re fighting against.