As Epic Lays Off Employees in Metaverse Transition, Nearly 400 Community Creators Earning $100K+/Year from Fortnite Creative. Over 60 Earn <em>Millions</em>.

Infographic via Game Discover

Hard news from Tim Sweeney at Epic:

As we shared earlier, we are laying off around 16% of Epic employees… For a while now, we've been spending way more money than we earn, investing in the next evolution of Epic and growing Fortnite as a metaverse-inspired ecosystem for creators. I had long been optimistic that we could power through this transition without layoffs, but in retrospect I see that this was unrealistic.

While Fortnite is starting to grow again, the growth is driven primarily by creator content with significant revenue sharing, and this is a lower margin business than we had when Fortnite Battle Royale took off and began funding our expansion. Success with the creator ecosystem is a great achievement, but it means a major structural change to our economics.

To see the other, more hopeful side of the structural change, take a look at his infographic from analytics firm Game Discover, tracking the size of the Fortnite Creative economy. As you can see above, nearly 400 user creators are now able to earn an annualized income of $100,000 or more, while 61 creators are earning seven figures. On the very high end, five are earning eight figures.

None of this is meant to take away from the pain that Epic's now laid off full-time employees are feeling. (Fortunately Epic is giving them extremely generous exit packages.) Many of them, however, will now probably become Fortnite Creative creators themselves. So we should also note the impressive growth of this grassroots creator economy emerging:

Nearly 1000 Fortnite Creative user creators are earning a decent part-time ($10K/year or more) or full-time income — with many earning more than most Epic employees, some more than everyone except Sweeney himself. 

More background from Game Discover, with an analysis suggesting the user-created games need better discovery, something a top creator told me recently.

Also, as a side not: This data suggests Second Life is still the leader in best revenue share among metaverse platforms, with 1600 SL creators earning $10,000 or more per year.

Thanks to Matthew Hawn for pointing me to the Game Discover post!

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