There's no denying how popular Fortnite has become. It's the world's most popular battle royale title, and because it also serves as a constantly operating meme factory, it's also become a pop culture icon. Epic Games wants to build on that success by letting people make their own Fortnite game modes via Fortnite Creative, a new program that kicks off on December 6 for Battle Pass owners and December 13 for everybody else.
Epic Games described Fortnite Creative as a "brand new way to experience the world of Fortnite" where you can "design games, race around the island, battle your friends in new ways, and build your dream Fortnite." Everything will be saved on a private version of the battle royale mode's island, which should allow players to experiment with pretty much anything they want to without affecting the game's existing play modes.
This seems like an expanded version of the Playground mode that debuted in Fortnite: Battle Royale earlier this year. That mode allows players to wander around the island on their lonesome to experiment with new guns, building techniques, and other mechanics without having to worry about someone else sniping them from across the map. (Unless they're practicing their sniping, in which case those long-range headshots are welcome.)
Fortnite Creative also hearkens back to Minecraft. People have used Mojang's building game to make functioning calculators, recreate other games, and do other things nobody would've expected from a game about harvesting materials to create basic structures. The same could happen for Fortnite--the game's system offers similar flexibility alongside more complex mechanics like advanced movement and third-person shooting.
Epic Games said it plans to support Fortnite Creative with "many new features and improvements over the next few updates" because it's " committed to making this bigger and better over time." It will also be interesting to see if the company borrows from the community's ideas--or perhaps even copies them outright--in more official Fortnite modes. Epic Games essentially just expanded Fortnite's dev team by millions of people.
Fortnite Creative will be free, too, even if it's initially restricted to Battle Pass owners. The Battle Pass typically costs around $10 worth of the in-game V-Bucks per season, but it's possible to amass that many V-Bucks without spending a dime. (Possible, but not exactly convenient.) That should help keep people invested in Fortnite even after the battle royale craze all-but-inevitably dies down as people latch on to the next trend.
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Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.