Epic Games announced at today's State of Unreal conference at GDC that it will give 40% of the total net revenues earned from Fortnite's Item Shop and "related real-money purchases" to eligible Fortnite content creators in what it calls "Creator Economy 2.0." The new system will exist alongside the Support-A-Creator program, which is "returning to its roots as an affiliate marketing program for streamers and social media content creators."
"The money in the economy comes from player spending in the item shop. Fortnite generates billions of dollars a year in revenues from players' purchases," Fortnite Ecosystem executive vice president Saxs Persson said during today's State of Unreal conference. "Fortnite players who have fun engaging in islands tend to spend more in the Item Shop. Creators who make popular islands are bringing real value to the Fortnite ecosystem, and we're going to share the resulting revenue with them."
A detailed breakdown of the system is available on the Fortnite Creator Portal, but the crash course version is that 40% of total net revenues earned from Fortnite's Item Shop and "related real-money purchases" will be put into an "engagement pool," which will be disbursed monthly to eligible content creators. That includes "legal entities like companies" and island creators who are at least 18 years of age, although Epic is looking to open the program to younger island creators as well.
The actual revenues shared each month will vary, depending on a number of factors:
- Real money spent on Fortnite
- Purchase of V-Bucks
- Real money transactions (Starter Packs, Quest Packs, cosmetics)
- Fortnite Crew subscriptions
The existing Support-A-Creator program, which debuted in 2018 as a way for fans to support their favorite creators, will continue to exist as an affiliate program for streamers and social media content creators. But it's being removed from Fortnite islands because, according to Epic, it's no longer really necessary: "Players can now show support for their favorite creators’ islands simply by playing them."
This new system is "transformative" for Fortnite island creators, but Epic believes there will be spin-off benefits for players too.
"The benefit of this new approach is rooted in fun, and rewards everyone's creative work, both yours and Epic's," Persson said. "There's no need to design cunning monetization loops or extractive gating items. You make an island the players love—that is all you need to be part of the new economy."
Creator Economy 2.0 is live now. To learn more about what's involved or sign up for a piece of the action, head over to the Island Creator Program page.