Image: Epic Games
This week, Epic Games unveiled the Unreal Editor for Fortnite, a toolset that expands on the battle royale’s existing creator resources and could completely revolutionize the game in the process. Players wasted no time in sharing glimpses of this potential, using the new tools for everything from recreating scenes from famous games like Grand Theft Auto V to creating entirely new experiences.
The public beta for Unreal Editor went live yesterday, giving anyone interested the opportunity to develop their own games in Fortnite. The editor leverages some of the tools found in the broader Unreal Engine, while also allowing players to take advantage of a new programming language called Verse, which Epic says will help streamline some of the process while doing more offer customization options. The company also promises to pay out a generous portion of its earnings from the game to compensate the developers for their work (we’ll see how that portion pays off once the initiative goes further).
Since the announcement, players have been working on Mario Kart racetracks, Counter-Strike levels, and meme fodder like a giant Shrek hurtling through downtown. Creators who had time with the editor before the reveal were able to achieve even more impressive results, like a recreation of Grove Street from GTA V. Epic’s own announcement trailer ended with a dramatic and impressive mech-boss fight that was epic at first sight what something from Titanfall or Metal Gear looks like. Copyright infringement concerns will likely keep some of these creations out of the game, but the results and their speed are still impressive.
In a recent interview with The Verge, Tim Sweeney, Epic co-founder and CEO, positioned these new tools as another step towards creating the metaverse. With the consolidation of Epic’s asset stores and the promise of importing pre-made things straight into Unreal, the idea is that in the long run certain games will be able to share characters, skins and other things in ways they can’t right now.
Epic, in particular, has been at the forefront of pushing Microsoft and Sony to open up cross-play between Xbox and PlayStation, though the question of who gets the money for the stuff you buy in-game remains a complex one to resolve . From the speed at which players are making cool stuff with the Unreal Editor, it’s clear that Fortnite is now the least interesting thing about Fortnite.