Similarly, it’s unusual for IP owners to allow their characters and stories to be intermingled with other IP

The best example of Fortnite’s potential is demonstrated by its ability to persuade many supposed competitors into cooperation (or early “interoperability”) with one another. Today, Fortnite works across each major entertainment platform – iOS, Android, PlayStation, Nintendo, PC, Xbox – allowing full cross-play that spans multiple identity/account systems, payment methods, social graphs, and typically closed ecosystems. For years, this was heavily resisted by the major gaming platforms as they believed that enabling such an experience would undermine their network effects and reduce the need to buy their proprietary hardware. As a result, a friend with Call of Duty on PlayStation could never play with their friend with Call of Duty on Xbox, even though both Sony and Microsoft knew they wanted to.

g. there are several es). But it’s particularly rare to see it crossed over in an experience they don’t control editorially, let alone one based around unpredictability (not even the creative team behind Fortnite knows what it will do in 2021) and with such a wide range of IP.

This does happen from time to time (e

Fortnite creative director at game awards says the goal is \u201Cto create a metaverse, a place where all IP can live together, where all kinds of experiences can happen\u201D – cc pic.twitter/eSwVnnzfZk

Fortnite creative director at game awards says the goal is “to create a metaverse, a place where all IP can live together, where all kinds of experiences can happen” – cc pic.twitter/eSwVnnzfZk

This organic evolution can’t be overemphasized. If you “declared” your intent to start a Metaverse, these parties would never embrace interoperability or entrust their IP. But Fortnite has become so popular and so unique that most counterparties have no choice but to participate – in fact, they’re probably desperate to integrate into the “game” – just as P&G can’t say “eh, Facebook isn’t for us”. Fortnite is too valuable a platform.

At the same time, Epic is bringing far more than a plausible on-ramp to its efforts to build the Metaverse. In addition to operating Fortnite – which was in theory a side project – Epic Games also owns the second largest independent gaming engine, Unreal. This means thousands of games already operate on its “stack” of tools and software (to simplify things), making it easier to share assets, integrate experiences, and share user profiles. Over time, the sophistication of Epic’s gaming engine has grown so significant it now powers a variety of traditional media experiences. Disney’s The Mandalorian was shot and fully rendered in Unreal, with director Jon Favreau able to literally enter its digital sets to frame a shot and position characters. If Disney so chooses, audiences could freely investigate much of these sets – most of the environment and assets already exist. And outside film and TV, Unreal is increasingly being used for live events, too: Unreal powers Fox Sports’s NASCAR set, for example.

The company was/is focused not on VFX engineers or game designers, but on offering intuitive, icon-based software that enables “architecture, construction, urban planning and landscaping professionals” to produce realistic, immersive digital environments based in Unreal “in seconds”

Still, the Metaverse requires everyone to be able to create and contribute ‘content’ and ‘experiences,’ not just well-staffed corporations and technically skilled individuals trying to make games or movies. To this end, Epic acquired the company Twinmotion in April of last year. According to Epic Games Founder/CEO Tim Sweeney, this means that there are now three ways to create in Unreal: the standard “coding” engine Jackson eros escort itself, the more simplified and “visual” Twinmotion, and Fortnite Creative Mode for those with no experience in programming and design. Over time, each option is likely to become more capable, easier to use and integrated.

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