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Fortnite is making so much money that Epic is giving Unreal Marketplace creators a big raise

The Unreal Engine Marketplace is a bit like Steam: People create digital content—textures, animations, music, props, or whatever—and sell it through the platform to game creators. Also like Steam, the asset creators keep 70 percent of the selling price, while Epic claims 30 percent—until now.   

Epic announced "a sweeping change" to the marketplace yesterday that will boost creators' take on their sales to 88 percent, a significantly above-standard rate increase that applies to all transactions going forward—and (this is the really good bit) to all previous transactions as well, all the way back to the launch of the UE Marketplace in 2014. In other words, marketplace sellers, especially those who have been around for awhile, could be in for a surprise, and potentially very lucrative, windfall.   

Epic's generosity is enabled by—obviously—the runaway success of Fortnite, which drew in an estimated $318 million in revenue in May. (That's right, 318 million bucks in one month.) 

"Thanks to both the Marketplace’s growth and the success of Fortnite, Epic now conducts a huge volume of digital commerce,” Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said. "The resulting economies of scale enable us to pass the savings along to the Unreal Engine Marketplace community, while also making a healthy profit for Epic."

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A bigger cut for content makers will mean more (and better) assets in the UE Marketplace, which should boost its already considerable popularity with game makers even further. Not that it was hurting in that department to begin with: The announcement also noted that the number of "active sellers" in the UE Marketplace increased by 30 percent in the first half of 2018, and that the number of users has grown by more than one million since March and now stands at 6.3 million.

The big raise for Unreal Engine Marketplace creators isn't the only manifestation of Epic's Fortnite-fueled largesse: In May it put a $100 million prize pool on the table for the first season of Fortnite competitive play, which will begin with the $8 million Summer Skirmish series that was announced yesterday.