Today, Epic launched Unreal Editor for Fortnite (or UEFN) as Fortnite Creative 2.0, an absurdly powerful set of mod tools that have already been used to transform the battle royale into entirely new types of games.
Fortnite has allowed and encouraged robust custom maps and game modes for some time through its Creative mode, but UEFN adds much more in-depth creation features straight out of Unreal Engine 5 itself. That means that users will be able to create all-new games within Fortnite, similar to something like Roblox. The difference here is that Fortnite is built on one of the most extensive and graphically robust game engines out there, so there's a much higher ceiling on what you can build.
To demonstrate what UEFN can do, Epic has published three of its own creations built using the tools that are now available to the public. Forest Guardian (island code 0348-4483-3263) gives you a single-player melee battle against a swarm of wolves under the eye of a massive dragon boss, seemingly inspired by the gorgeous fantasy vistas of the Soulsborne lineage and Elden Ring.
The Space Inside (island code 9836-7381-5978) is an atmospheric puzzle game with a decidedly spooky atmosphere. There's even a first-person segment that looks like the first step to a new version of the Silent Hill teaser PT.
Call of Duty’s domination mode recreated in Fortnite’s new creative mode, with Rust elements. Seriously, Activision, what went wrong? pic.twitter.com/5tO5RG8akRMarch 22, 2023
Perhaps the most notable thing is Deserted: Domination (island code 8035-1519-2959), an 8v8 point capture game that works pretty much exactly like Domination mode from Call of Duty. Long-time CoD fans have been seriously impressed, especially given how directly the map seems to evoke the series' Rust map.
The question, of course, is how long it'll take normal devs and modders to build work that's similar in quality to what Epic's done in-house. The publisher is certainly building incentives, though - as part of a revised creator payout system, it's promising to pay 40% of the net revenue from the Fortnite Item Shop to the creators who are most effectively bringing new players in and keeping old players coming back. If you need a reminder, Fortnite makes billions of dollars every year, so that's no small amount of cash.
If you want a more technical breakdown of how UEFN works, check out the official site. For now, I am eagerly awaiting the first round of community creations with these new tools to start landing.
Is Fortnite number one among the best battle royale games? Maybe, but by now it's also much more than that.