Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, who recently confirmed the company’s decision to ditch the Play Store and deliver Fortnite directly to Android customers, was recently interviewed by GamesBeat.
Among a number of topics, Sweeney stated that Epic Games is heavily reinvesting Fortnite’s profits into the game’s development before adding that microtransactions from happy customers are the best kind of funding a company can get. As you might remember from our recent report, Fortnite recently surpassed $1 billion in microtransactions.
"As far as the success of Fortnite, that’s the best type of funding a company can get: microtransactions from happy customers. We’re heavily reinvesting, based on Fortnite’s profits, in the underlying game. We’re building our team, adding features, starting a lot of long-term initiatives that will bear fruit in the coming years. We’ve been investing into Fortnite esports. We have competitions, events, and opportunities to win real money. We’ve announced $100 million in prize pool money coming in the next 12 months. This is a great boon for Epic. We have an unlimited ability to invest in our technology, our games, and all the ecosystem around it."
Tim Sweeney also went on to talk a little bit about the so-called Metaverse. According to him, we’re still about a decade away from being able to do something like that.
"Well, it’s a topic we think about every day. A 3D social environment where users can get together and do interesting stuff — I think we’re seeing games pick up and more and more elements of that every day as we go along. If you look at the way people gathered together in Fortnite, socially, to watch the Rocket Launch event together, that was something I don’t think we’ve seen in gaming before. There’s a long path from where we are to achieving the Metaverse. It might take a decade. But every game developer is contributing a bit of forwarding progress. We’re just going to have to learn as we go about what works and what doesn’t work."
"Imagine being back in 1980 and trying to design a social network. You’d get some parts of it right, and you wouldn’t get the other parts of it. You’d probably end up with something that looks a bit like IRC or email. It’s going to take time to evolve and discover the magic that makes it work."
"We’re learning a lot from the way people play the game. We’re 100 steps away from the Metaverse, but Fortnite made two or three of them. We’re getting players together from all platforms, especially, and bringing them together live for events. But there are a lot of components missing there. There’s not a persistent universe, a single world everyone can participate in. It’s a problem we’ll all be groping toward over the next decade."