Analyst: 4% of Fortnite Creative devs make $20k or more in annual revenue, with 40 creators becoming millionaires

Epic Games has been actively developing the UGC side of Fortnite for a while now, attracting thousands of third-party creators and paying them hundreds of millions of dollars in total. Here is how so-called engagement payouts are distributed among developers.

40 Fortnite Creative devs became millionaires, yet only 4% of all creators make $20k or more in annual revenue

The Pit — Free for All, a Fortnite map by Geerzy

During the State of Unreal keynote at GDC 2024, Epic Games announced that it had paid $320 million to Fortnite Creative devs over the past 12 months.

Quick reminder: users can create UGC islands in Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN), eligible for a percentage of net revenue from Fortnite’s Item Shop based player engagement and retention. Epic, for its part, has committed to paying 40% of total monthly revenue to creators.

Games analyst David Taylor, who currently works as a senior business manager at Xbox Game Studios Publishing, decided to dig into the data with the help of YipitData and Fortnite.gg. Here are the main takeaways:

  • The total number of developers on Fortnite Creative is 23.5k, 4% of whom earn at least $20k in annual revenue;
  • For comparison, only 0.1% of Roblox creators make that amount, and about 15% of devs on Steam generate $20k or more per year (“barriers to entry are much higher and likely more competitive” on Valve’s platform, Taylor notes);

  • Nine developers received 40% of the $320 million — these are early adopters, most of whom have been creating popular UGC maps before the launch of UEFN;
  • The top 100 developers received 71% of the total, or $2.9 million per creator, and 99.7% of the annual payouts were split between the top 4,000 creators;
  • 40 UEFN creators became millionaires, earning over $1 million over the past 12 months — six of them received over $10 million from Epic Games, and the top earner (pandvil) made almost $20.4 million.

As Taylor concluded, “given the number of developers entering the space (10,000 in the last three months), I’m hopeful that we will see a new genre have sustained success in the Fortnite Ecosystem this year.”

More details can be found in the full LinkedIn post.

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