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Epic launches Unreal Editor for Fortnite and will pay creators 40% of revenue

Epic Games has announced a new payment system for the creators of Fortnite, the popular free-to-play battle royale game.

Epic Games has announced a new payment system for the creators of Fortnite, the popular free-to-play battle royale game.

It was announced at the Game Developers Conference on Wednesday that Epic will now share 40% of Fortnite’s revenue with anyone who develops “islands” in the game. This includes the money Epic earns from purchasing V-Bucks (an in-game currency), real money spent in Fortnite on items such as Starter Packs, Quest Packs and cosmetic decorations, and Fortnite Crew subscriptions.

On their own private islands, creators can create their own unique game experiences with custom rulesets and designs. The payout to the creator is determined by how popular the island is and how many users keep coming back to the island.

According to Epic’s wording, companies can also receive payouts in this program, meaning that just like with Roblox, professional game developers can also post their own content to Fortnite and get paid for it. However, it is not yet clear whether Epic itself has the right to return part of the allocated 40%, which is why the actual amount sent to third-party creators may be much less.

Already about half of Fortnite’s playtime is spent on user-generated content, but these third-party maps are getting a massive update soon. Epic also announced today that Fortnite is getting the Unreal Engine editor, which is now available in public beta. In the demo video, it looks like it could be a game changer (literally):

The existing Fortnite creator program offered relatively meager incentives for would-be game designers. The creators had a personal code, and if fans entered it when purchasing an item in the Fortnite store, they received 5% of the income. To join the new program, which Epic is calling Creator Economy 2.0, users can sign up on the new Fortnite Creator Portal . Any creator who joins before April 21st will be paid backdated for any games on the island starting March 1st. To be eligible for payment, users must be over 18 years of age and have an account that is at least 90 days old.

The 40% figure is an interesting choice. Epic has been suing Apple for years , alleging that the owner of the iOS App Store has an anti-competitive policy by charging 30% on all in-app purchases. Epic originally sued Apple in 2020 when the company removed Fortnite from the App Store. Then Epic introduced a new payment mechanism that allowed it to bypass Apple’s in-app purchases.

The initial verdict in the case was mixed , prompting both companies to file an appeal. The judge ruled that Apple does not have a monopoly, but the company cannot prevent apps from directing customers to another payment processor to get around the 30% tax. Epic filed an appeal demanding that Apple support third-party payments. Apple has also filed an appeal seeking to close these workarounds and keep payments under its control.

However, comparing the Apple application market with the income of game creators from Epic, of course, is not entirely correct. Epic claims that app developers have no choice but to list their apps on the Google and Apple stores, but Fortnite is just one of many ecosystems where developers can generate income. But we may see references to a new Fortnite Creator Payment Program pop up in the ongoing appeals process between the two companies.