Epic Games has revealed a new set of tools to give Fortnite content creators even more power. The new tools are called the Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN), and they aim to bring some of the power of the full Unreal Engine 5 into Fortnite, making them a little more approachable, while also allowing entirely new creations and games to be developed inside of Fortnite. The UEFN tools were announced and debuted during Epic’s “State of Unreal” presentation at the Game Developers Conference 2023.
Unreal Editor for Fortnite is for experienced game developers, but it’s also designed to be a user-friendly tool for Fortnite’s many Island creators and hobbyists. Eventually, the goal is to have every single one of Unreal Engine 5’s features available in UEFN. This includes assets and eventually Meta Humans as well. UEFN will also work on any platform that can play Fortnite, allowing creators to collaborate with each other across consoles and PC.
The editor itself is designed specifically to import all kinds of content and assets from the Unreal engine, but also to provide players with a lot of base game systems to work on top of. During the GDC presentation, Epic showed off footage from some of the projects that have been built using UEFN, including one that featured a full cinematic before smoothly transitioning to third-person shooter gameplay in an environment that looked nothing like Fortnite — except for the characters and the shooting.
The tool features landscape editing abilities similar to the ones that Epic developers use to make Fortnite maps. Creators can also instantly switch to an in-game mode to play their creations right away. Epic is even including a custom programming language called Verse, which should allow creators to fine-tune parts of their new game with Unreal Editor for Fortnite.
During the GDC presentation, Epic also revealed that the current crop of Island Creators helps generate a significant amount of revenue for Fortnite, as players who engage with Custom Islands are more likely to spend money in Fortnite’s in-game store.
To help reflect this fact, and the fact that UEFN will allow for far more types of creations inside of Fortnite, Epic is going to be sharing 40% of Fortnite revenue with creators who make content for the game, with larger shares for those creators whose work garners more players’ interest and engagement. This new revenue-sharing model starts today and will be backdated to the beginning of March for eligible creators. Epic hopes that this will help spur on creators to work in UEFN and eventually entire studios to create games inside that ecosystem.
UEFN is available in Fortnite now, with more features on the way.