Veteran game developers from Bungie, EA, and Kongregate have come together to form a new video game studio, Look North World. And this new studio will be focused on making… Fortnite games?
Since Fortnite’s release in 2017, Epic has continually updated and expanded the game, adding new content, weapons, and modes like Creative Mode, which lets players build their own maps to share online. The most recent major evolution came this March when Epic launched Unreal Engine for Fortnite (UEFN). This lets people create, for free, more advanced maps and even different games inside Fortnite. This not only makes it easier than ever to create games and playable prototypes, but all UEFN creations can be played seamlessly in Fortnite, providing indie devs a giant audience for their creations. It’s likely this ease of access combined with the huge Fortnite audience is what’s attracted some veteran game devs.
On July 18, Alex Seropian, Jay Pecho, Patrick Moran, Kyle Marks, Aaron Marroquin, and Prashant Patil announced their new game development studio, Look North World. This team of developers is made up of vets from EA and Kongregate and will be led by Seropian, who helped found Bungie (Halo, Destiny) back in the day.
Now, if you’ve been paying attention to video game news over the last two years, a new studio formed by devs from other, bigger companies might sound like a familiar situation. That’s because we’ve seen plenty of game devs leaving big publishers and studios to create their own new outfits, as detailed in this (shockingly) long thread on Twitter. But what makes Look North World different is that these vets formed a new games studio to exclusively build projects inside Fortnite.
“Developing in UEFN opens a whole new world of opportunities, and we are in uncharted territory,” said Seropian. “Through experimentation, we will see what the players like and involve them in decisions.”
“We are jumping into it with a ‘the virtual sky is the limit’ mentality,” he continued. “As we develop creative ideas, we will learn how these platforms engage, entertain, and boost social interactions in order to iterate accordingly.”
Look North World’s first game is already here. Outlaw Corral, live now in Fortnite, is a Wild West-themed 1v1 shooter that can be played for free inside Epic’s popular game. Look North World says this is just one of several UEFN games it currently has in development.
While it might seem wild that some devs are jumping ship to make games inside Fortnite, the reality is that UEFN games can become hugely successful.
A Fortnite-based clone of Only Up has become one of the most popular games in the world, and has probably made its devs a lot of money, thanks to Epic’s system for paying UEFN devs. If Look North World can create a few games that are even just a fraction as big as that Only Up clone, it’s likely it could make real money in the process.
And because Fortnite handles all of the servers and infrastructure, it seems reasonable that it’s a cheaper way to create online video games, helping even small hits become profitable. If this new studio succeeds in Fortnite, don’t be surprised if others start investing more time and money into creating UEFN games, too.