The next stage of the internet, known as the Metaverse, is a virtual space that exists even when people are not logged in. Fortnite, the Battle Royale from Epic Games, could be the first game to create a functioning Metaverse.
Although the technology is not yet available, Epic Games has all the ingredients to make it a frontrunner. Aspects of the proposed Metaverse are already incorporated into Fortnite’s gaming ecosystem.
Epic Games and its Web3 Potential
Fortnite’s creators, Epic Games, have been very vocal about their plans for the game. CEO Tim Sweeney wants to keep this conversation open and has made references in recent years to turning Fortnite into something more than just a game. In fact, he even hinted that we could see these changes by the end of this year!
One gaming platform that has stayed true to Web3, NFTs, and the Metaverse is Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite. Other platforms such as Minecraft have banned NFTs, but Epic Games has instead increased their investment by $2 billion through partnerships with Sony ($1 billion) and the Lego Group, KIRKBI ($1 billion).
Their commitment to the gaming world was further cemented with the addition of the first-ever NFT game on their Epic Games platform. Blankos Blockchain Party became available for download on September 15th, adding yet another layer of excitement and engagement for gamers worldwide.
Furthermore, it is no secret that Epic’s goal is to make Fortnite into something more than just a game. Although the company’s primary game isn’t an NFT game, it has several characteristics often found in games set in the Metaverse.
In December 2019, Sweeney tweeted “Fortnite is a game. But ask that question again in 12 months.” The Metaverse not only seems realistic — it would probably be pretty useful right about now.
The tweet highlights the game’s transformation from something you simply play to an interactive experience. This is especially apparent in Party Royale, the non-combat mode where players socialize with one another.
Why the Metaverse is a Perfect Fit for Epic Games and Fortnite?
A Metaverse reality is an online sphere that mirrors and meets real-world needs and activities, something which Sweeney is certainly not the only person who wants to see.
Neal Stephenson first invented the term ‘Metaverse’ in his 1992 book, Snow Crash. In the novel, he introduce readers to a virtual reality that did not exist at the time but has now become a reality with online experiences.
Since then, as technology progressed, we have gradually come to agree upon a vision of the Metaverse. However, there are still some disagreements about what this looks like exactly. For example, according to an essay by venture capitalist Matthew Ball, does Fortnite have any of these elements?
Big tech companies have long been investing in virtual reality and cloud computing businesses with the eventual goal of creating a Metaverse.
To create a completely immersive Metaverse, we will need technology more advanced than what we have today. The internet was designed for sending files between computers, rather than providing a synchronized experience for millions of users.
For example, Facebook has billions of members, but when you interact on the platform, you only connect with one server: Facebook. You don’t connect with other users.
In 2019, 11 million users watched the concert broadcast of Fortnite’s Marshmello. There were actually “more than 100,000 instances of the Marshmello concert,” but each instance was capped at 100 players and slightly out of sync with other instances.
Though the technology necessary to establish unlimited synchronization is complex, Fortnite’s gaming capabilities are much further along than those of social media platforms.
Fortnite is one of the most popular online games, and it boasts an enormous community of players who are always excited to see new content. Right now, Fortnite is the only place on the internet where you can have an avatar of Hopper from Stranger Things twerk on an avatar of Rey Skywalker from Star Wars – which just goes to show how diverse and creative the game can be.
Epic Games’s Unreal Engine
With the advent of the metaverse, many gaming industry companies will take center stage. Of these, Unreal Engine and Unity are likely to be leaders. These engines enable augmented and virtual reality applications that provide users with an immersive experience–something that is obviously valuable as evidenced by investments from firms like Lego Group and Sony.
The Unreal Engine by Epic Games is chosen by many professionals for its functionality. Architects render 3D images of their projects using the engine to better communicate their vision.
All of these digital simulations can be used to imitate real-life scenarios such as emergency management or, more simply, for clients to explore virtual worlds in which businesses can advertise and provide services.
Therefore, Epic Games has a lot of potential to really make it in the Metaverse and the Web3.