Mondrian x Cabbage Systems
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Materials for Dec 27th

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December Analysis

We repeated the data gathering for all categories that we did in early October. The full dataset is available
, but the main findings are:

Overall UGC player numbers are up

At the point we sampled data in October, around 1.3m people were playing top 20 maps across all categories in UGC maps (excluding Epic). At our December sample point, 3.6m players were playing top 20 maps across all categories (including both UGC and Epic maps). The new Epic Games (Lego, Festival, Racing) peak at a total of around 750k players a day, so it’s likely that pure UGC players have increased from around 1.3m to around 2.8m, i.e. by more than double.
This reflects last week’s overall research which showed that while UGC maps had lost audience share relative to Epic creative maps, the overall player base has grown so much that the overall UGC player base has also increased substantially.

Overall Map numbers are up, but by less

In October, we tracked data for a total of 179,600 maps. In December, we are tracking data for 261,080 maps, meaning that in December we now have
1.45
times as many maps as October. This means the number of players has increased faster than the number of maps. If the new players are monetizing at the same or better rate than previous players, the revenue share available to map-makers should be increased compared to earlier in the year.

Players of UGC content are increasingly focused on practice-style maps.

Players who aren’t in Epic’s games are mostly playing practice-style maps (Practice, PvP, Boxfight, 2V2 etc)
October's most popular categories
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Category Name
Player Share
PRACTICE
12.2%
BOXFIGHT
11.9%
FREE FOR ALL
9.1%
ZONEWARS
8.6%
PVP
7.6%
COMPETITIVE
7.1%
DEATHMATCH
6.3%
1v1
6.1%
DUO
5.9%
TYCOON
5.5%
JUST FOR FUN
4.8%
CASUAL
4.3%
DEATHRUN
3.8%
RESPAWN
3.5%
HORROR
3.3%
There are no rows in this table

December's most popular categories
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Category Name
Player Share
PRACTICE
14.7%
CO-OP (includes Lego Fortnite)
14.6%
PVP
10.5%
OPEN WORLD (includes Lego Fortnite)
9.0%
BOXFIGHT
8.6%
SURVIVAL (includes Lego Fortnite)
8.5%
SANDBOX (includes Lego Fortnite)
8.3%
PARTY GAME (includes Fortnite Festival)
4.1%
2V2
3.3%
DUO
3.3%
1v1
3.3%
ZONEWARS
3.2%
MUSIC (includes Fortnite Festival)
3.1%
JUST FOR FUN
2.9%
MINIGAME
2.7%
There are no rows in this table

Players are seeking out new practice style maps

Players are mostly moving to new practice style maps like Heroes (which is basically a Boxfight variant) Aim and Edit Courses etc.
Fastest growing (by maps)
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Category Name
OCTOBER Number of Islands
DECEMBER Number of Islands
Absolute change
New Maps per day
PRACTICE
14,380
24,760
10,380
133
PVP
12,860
20,160
7,300
94
JUST FOR FUN
15,820
21,540
5,720
73
1v1
9,820
14,340
4,520
58
ZONEWARS
5,940
9,260
3,320
43
BOXFIGHT
6,120
9,320
3,200
41
DEATHMATCH
6,100
9,040
2,940
38
COMPETITIVE
6,720
9,340
2,620
34
ACTION
8,200
10,740
2,540
33
BATTLE
8,940
11,400
2,460
32
BUILDING
5,200
7,500
2,300
29
DEATHRUN
5,160
6,720
1,560
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PARKOUR
4,360
5,820
1,460
19
MINIGAME
4,520
5,880
1,360
17
PARTY GAME
3,160
4,500
1,340
17
There are no rows in this table

Fastest growing (by players)
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Category Name
OCTOBER Total Players for Top 20 Islands
DECEMBER Total Players for Top 20 Islands in December
Absolute change
CO-OP (includes Lego)
7,047
401,069
394,022
PRACTICE
106,900
404,400
297,500
OPEN WORLD (includes Lego)
18,241
248,040
229,799
SANDBOX (includes Lego)
3
228,882
228,879
PVP
66,704
289,100
222,396
SURVIVAL (includes Lego)
12,963
234,740
221,777
BOXFIGHT
104,100
235,000
130,900
PARTY GAME (includes Festival)
25,825
113,077
87,252
MUSIC (includes Festival)
53
83,984
83,931
2V2
22,224
90,300
68,076
MINIGAME
15,593
72,843
57,250
WINTERFEST
0
53,824
53,824
HEROES
573
44,985
44,412
DUO
51,236
89,864
38,628
JUST FOR FUN
42,000
79,800
37,800
There are no rows in this table

Tycoons are waning

600 new tycoon maps were released since early October, a rate of about
8
new maps per day. However, the active percentage and overall player base dropped.
In October, there were ~960 maps in the Tycoon category, of which around 12.5% or 120 were active (i.e. more than 20 CCU). In December, there were ~1560 maps in the Tycoon category, of which around 6.41% (or 100) were active (i.e. more than 20 CCU). ​Overall the number of players across the top 20 Tycoon games has decreased from 47,900 in October to 33,087 in December.*
* Note: these numbers are samples of concurrent players at a given moment in time.
This suggests both that the Tycoon craze may be waning (fewer players in the top games), and also becoming increasingly oversaturated (>150% increase in the number of maps over the last 2 months, without a similar increase in overall player numbers).

Overall Analysis

There was a lot of speculation that the arrival of the Big Bang games (Lego, Festival, Racing), would undermine revenue for UGC creators. However, overall, player numbers have increased more strongly than map numbers, meaning that more players are available per map than previously. Assuming new players monetize as well or better than existing players, UGC revenue share should stay the same or improve despite decreased player share against Epic made titles.
Epic’s new games (Lego, Festival, Racing) are absorbing a lot of the interest in alterative gameplay experiences (i.e. gameplay that is strongly different from the core Fortnite BR/STW modes)
It looks likely that the big influx of new players during OG/BB are looking for UGC games that will help them gain or improve skills at the core Fortnite experience. In other words, game genres popular on other metaverse platforms like Roblox (Tycoon, Obby, etc.) are still popular in Fortnite Creative, but much less popular than Fortnite-specific genres like Boxfight, etc.

Suggested Strategy

We understand Kakuda-san's idea about making a Tycoon map with better retention through save points and replayability, but we have some concerns about how feasible that is within Fortnite Creative and whether the strategy really makes sense.

Tycoon maps are about "completing" the content in the map: finishing your base, completing all the challenges, etc. We're having trouble imagining ways to add replayability to this format. The save point functionality in UEFN is still very simple. It might be possible to save a players progress on their base, how much money they have, etc. But the only reason they would save the game and come back to play another day is if they haven't "completed" the map. Creating a map that has more content than a player can complete in one session seems to mean adding a lot more content to that map: if we want a map to take two hours to complete, it means making a map that takes twice as long to create as a map with 1 hour of content.
Fortnite provides no way to directly notify players that a map has been updated, making it very hard to re-engage players. Unlike mobile games or other platforms, you can't send a message to someone who's played your map and say, "New content added! Come check it out!"
If we're interested in maps with replayability vs. "play once" content maps like Tycoons, we might want to look instead at the Combat category. Since these are multiplayer games, popular ones are played over and over again. The problem, as we mentioned in our initial analysis in October, is that this category is very crowded with a few very popular, very old maps, so becoming a popular new combat map is relatively difficult.
External marketing sounds like a good idea, but it's very hard to know how effective it is. Maps made by or featuring famous streamers have done well, though, so if those kinds of connections exist, it could definitely help!
You said: "※ Just making and releasing it isn't enough, as there's a chance no one will play it. In that case, it makes no sense to continuously add new stages or characters..." This is a very important point, and we think Mondrian should keep this in mind with its Fortnite strategy. The biggest and best chance maps get to find an audience is in the beginning when they debut in the "New" category. If a map fails to find an audience in the beginning, it's very hard (but not impossible) to come back. Because of this, making many small and simple maps is probably a better strategy for finding success than making one big map and hoping it will be a hit.

If Kakuda-san has some examples of other Tycoon maps in Fortnite that do the kind of thing he's looking for, that would be very helpful. We've done our best to share strategy based on our research and direct experience with the platform. Of course, "make a great map that everyone will want to play over and over" is a great goal, but we also want to select a realistic strategy that maximizes chances of success given the limits of our schedule and budget. In other words “make a popular map” is a goal, not a strategy. Let’s pick a strategy that we think improves our chances of doing that.

Overall, our updated analysis suggests that the Tycoon strategy that looked good in October is less good now. If game revenue is still the goal, we should maybe look at trying multiple practice style maps to allow faster iteration and more shots on goal.

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