Note — Feb 17, 2019

Fortnite Is the Future, Maybe Not for the Reasons You Think

Fascinating dive into the world of Fortnite, first debunking four hypes about the game, then taking stock of Epic and Fortnite’s situation and prospectives going forward. Already worth a read for that but it really gets interesting when Ball starts looking at the use of the game as a public square, the time spent there, and how it could be / is used as a platform. He then goes into what Epic founder Tim Sweeney is planning for the cloud, a marketplace, and his longtime obsession with the “Metaverse.“ Think something like Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One and a platform vision which might face off with Zuckerberg’s similar(ish) ideas for Oculus. (Also, the Unreal engine is very aptly named, these demos are a bit mindblowing.)

To this end, Fortnite likely represents the largest persistent media event in human history. As of today, the game has likely had more than six consecutive months with at least one million concurrent active users – all of whom are participating in a largely shared and consistent experience that spanned multiple “seasons”, storylines, and events. […]

Fortnite wasn’t designed to be a Second Life-style experience, or even a digital “third place“; it became one organically. What’s more, it is drastically out-monetizing dedicated social squares such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram – even combined. […]

[T]he engine is increasingly used in online or AR-enhanced virtual tours, in architectural modeling, and so on. The company newest frontier is feature-film grade rendering – in its game engine. […]

Epic has also built up another great and particularly hard to establish advantage: some 200MM+ registered user accounts. Each of these accounts is equipped with individual and directly reachable email addresses, in many cases a clear social graph, as well as dual factor authentication via cell phone numbers, and, often, credit cards. […]

In its fullest form, the Metaverse experience would span most, if not all virtual words, be foundational to real-world AR experiences and interactions, and would serve as an equivalent “digital” reality where all “physical” humans would simultaneously co-exist. […]

“If you look at why people are paid to do things, it’s because they’re creating a good or delivering a service that’s valuable to somebody, there’s just as much potential for that in these virtual environments as there is in the real world. If, by playing a game or doing something in a virtual world, you’re making someone else’s life better, then you can be paid for that.”

Note: Originally linked to