Editor’s note: Cary-based Epic Games returned this week to the big Game Developers Conference – perhaps the most important event in the gaming industry – and unveiled a host of updates for its Unreal game engine as well as Fortnite – from improved realism to monetization opportunities. Here’s the latest as provided by Epic in a blog post.
CARY – We’re thrilled to be back at GDC! Seeing the amazing work the game development community produces is an incredibly inspiring and humbling experience, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store this year.
If you missed the State of Unreal, we revealed Epic’s long-term vision for the future of content creation, distribution, and monetization—including how we’re laying the foundations for a connected, open ecosystem and economy that will enable all creators and developers to benefit in the metaverse.

Unreal Editor for Fortnite now in Public Beta

Since 2018, it’s been possible to create your own island in Fortnite thanks to the Fortnite Creative toolset. Today, there are more than one million of these islands and over 40% of player time in Fortnite is spent in them.

What if creators and developers had more powerful tools and greater creative flexibility to reach Fortnite’s huge audience of more than 500 million player accounts? That becomes possible with Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN), launched in Public Beta today at the State of Unreal.

UEFN is a version of the Unreal Editor that can create and publish experiences directly to Fortnite. With many of Unreal Engine 5’s powerful features at your fingertips, creators and developers have a whole world of new creative options for producing games and experiences that can be enjoyed by millions of Fortnite players.

What’s more, UEFN provides an opportunity to use the new programming language Verse for the first time. Aimed at getting UEFN creators up and running with the ability to script alongside existing Fortnite Creative tools, Verse offers powerful customization capabilities such as manipulating or chaining together devices and the ability to easily create new game logic. Verse is being designed as a programming language for the metaverse, with upcoming features to enable future scalability to vast open worlds built by millions of creators for billions of players. Verse is launching in Fortnite today, and will come to all Unreal Engine users a couple years down the road.

At the State of Unreal, we debuted a brand new GDC demo that tests the limits of what can be built with UEFN today. The UEFN demo showcases a variety of key UEFN features including Niagara, Verse, Sequencer, Control Rig, custom assets, existing Creative devices, and custom audio.

The demo includes three key parts: an opening section highlighting how to enhance existing Fortnite Creative devices using Verse, a deeper dive into the editor, and an exciting boss battle to close out the segment.

We showed the demo live running on Fortnite servers, and played it on PC.