Above: Best Fortnite Island nominee Murder Mystery by Alliance (Island Code: 8513-2892-9361)
The 1oth annual Game Awards are announced here in LA on December 7th, and while the show has been attracting more viewers than the Oscars since 2018, this year includes another milestone — the first award for user-generated content on a metaverse platform. Specifically, The Best Fortnite Island of the year, with 10 nominees for community-created islands built in the Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN).
Created and hosted by Geoff Keighley — who back in the day, worked with me on an editorial project devoted to modding communities in gaming — it's a great addition to the Game Awards, recognition that UGC/metaverse platforms are a growing force in the game industry as a whole. Hopefully we'll see this become an official category in future Game Awards, across many platforms. (User-made Roblox experiences, I never tire of pointing out, are as popular as many top AAA games, and have become incredibly ambitious in recent years.)
Among the Best Island nominees is one close to my heart: Murder Mystery (Island Code: 8513-2892-9361). It was created by Alliance, a creative studio that's featured in my book for its innovative work creating branded Fortnite experiences for top brands like Doritos and Joe Biden's 2020 Presential campaign. (Seriously.)
Since launching Murder Mystery, Alliance CEO/co-founder Mackenize Jackson (aka MackJack) tells me it's been played over 4 million times in its first two months.
"We hit 1 million players in the first week of release," she tells me. "We’ve had a lot of players engaging with the game, making content, and we’re excited to continue making future content updates on the game!"
As the name suggests, gameplay is highly multiplayer and plot twisty: