Huge milestone for Fortnite last Saturday:
A little over six years after it launched, battle royale sensation Fortnite just broke its all-time one-day player record — by going back in time. The launch of Fortnite OG, a special season which brings back the game’s original Chapter 1 map, drew an incredible 44.7 million players on Saturday, Nov. 4, who between them racked up 102 million hours of play.
I'm told Fortnite's daily/monthly user numbers have been trending down in recent months, but the clamor to play OG demonstrates the continued strength of the brand. Tens of million of people clearly still have it installed on their devices, or are perfectly willing to re-install, when there's a burst of new content.
This strength from Fortnite as a consumer brand is echoed by its continued strength as a metaverse platform:
- Roughly fifty-percent of time spent in Fortnite is in creator-made experiences developed by the Fortnite community and third party brands (Epic tells me).
- 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.
A substantial number of those players who returned to play OG will also go on to explore community/brand-made content. So here's some advice (featured in my book) from Mackenzie and Simon of Alliance, a studio which has created Fortnite experiences for brands like Doritos and, well, Joe Biden's 2020 campaign:
Having met and worked with dozens of major real life brands, Mackenzie and Simon of Alliance have advice for creating a successful experience:
Simon notes that many brands come to them with a very specific creative campaign in mind — even if it doesn’t fully leverage the potential of the platform.
"Partner up with teams similar to us or with us,” Mackenzie advises, “and trust our experience to let us create a game that players are going to enjoy that's also going to represent their brands.”
The Fortnite activation can’t be a standalone experience, however, which will only limit its reach and impact:
"[Brands] need to be looking at it as a piece of a larger puzzle… how can we tie it to any kind of IRL event, or tournaments, or elevated beyond just what we made?"
A fan of creating adventure game experiences in Fortnite Creative, Simon acknowledges that that genre is not actually the best genre for brand experiences, because once played, a player never returns. Better to create a full-fledged multiplayer game experience where players are competing against each other or themselves, so there’s reasons for them to keep returning:
"So to get into that space, you need players to be consistently playing your map and not just one or two. You need 1000s and 1000s to be consistently playing your map, meaning that a game that starts and finishes and has no reason to return isn't going to do so well."