After years of genre-defining crossovers, Epic is now using Fortnite as a gateway for gaming's new Games-as-a-Platform strategy.
Fortnite is the template for success for most live games. The BR has made over $20 billion in revenue thanks in no small part to its incredible amount of pop culture crossovers while also innovating with events like the ultra-popular Travis Scott concert. Fortnite isn't just a game any more, it's an experience.
Epic is continuing this trend in a new way. Fortnite will now turn into a kind of gateway for other games, which is a nascent concept that I call Games-as-a-Platform (you've heard of Games-as-a-Service, well this is an evolution of that).
The developer has announced three new live service games that are coming to Fortnite, including a Lego builder sim and two other projects created from Epic's first-party studios.
The Lego Fortnite game goes live on December 7, and is described as a "digital play experience" that delivers the "ultimate survival crafting LEGO adventure". The Lego game will have Lego-ized versions of 1,200 of Fortnite skins, so gamers who own a specific skin in Fortnite will be able to unlock and play as that character in the Lego builder.
It introduces vast, open worlds where the magic of LEGO building and Fortnite collide. Designed for people of all ages to enjoy together, the game will encourage creativity, experimentation and collaboration through play.
The other two games are built by Epic's Psyonix and Harmonix teams.
The first is a Rocket League-esque racing game from Psyonix where players "drift, fly, and boost with friends through an ever-growing selection of tracks."
The second first-party game would be Fortnite Festival, which is being developed by Rock Band creator Harmonix. This live service game-within-a-game will lean on the strengths of Harmonix's previous music games, and will feature co-op friend play and music from hit artists like The Weeknd.
All of these games will be free, and will be accessible within Fortnite, which is also free.
Ongoing monetization is to be expected, whether it be through premium currencies or perhaps an in-game storefront of user-generated content.