Mondrian x Cabbage Systems
Share
Explore
Materials for Oct 12th

icon picker
Fortnite Games for Foreign Audiences

Goal

Determine popular and trending UEFN game formats in the overseas market to help Mondrian expand its audience overseas.

Methodology

Overview

Cabbage Systems has been creating for the Fortnite Creative ecosystem for six months, and has built up a familiarity with trends and game genres. We wanted to supplement our knowledge about popular game genres with more quantifiable data so we also performed some statistical analysis of popular game categories by data mining publicly available numbers.
It’s easy to learn which categories are most popular in Fortnite Creative, but it’s also important to choose a category where the chances for success are high. Some categories attract large numbers of players but those players are concentrated in relatively few very popular islands. We analyzed Fortnite player data to try to identify categories that have high player interest but relatively low competition for sustainable success.
Most of our data comes from , which gets its data by scraping Epic’s official data at Fortnite.com. We sampled player data from and performed our own analysis in order to develop some theories about how to identify promising categories and game genres.

Theory

Fortnite Creative is somewhat different from Roblox because the popularity of Epic’s own Battle Royale modes drives interest in a certain style of competitive battle-oriented maps and “practice” maps that provide players an opportunity to experience rare Battle Royale weapons or focus on specific skills or scenarios that are useful when playing Battle Royale.
Games in the “Practice” category include game genres like Box Fight, Zone Wars, Red vs. Blue, etc. This style of game is very popular, so it seems interesting to make islands targeting this audience. When you analyze the player data, however, you find that these categories have a very large number of islands in competition for the same players, and player activity remains clustered around a relatively small number of maps that have sustained their position for a long time. In other words, in spite of the large number of players, it seems these categories are less attractive than they appear because the odds of success for any individual map are very, very low.
By analyzing player and island data, we developed some theories for how to identify promising genres in which to build new, popular maps that will appeal to a global audience.
In general, we observed that some categories have large absolute numbers of players, but those players are clustered around a small number of very popular maps while the majority of maps in the category have very few or zero players. Categories like this seem unpromising. Similarly, categories that are already crowded with a large number of maps, with an overall low number of players seem like a bad opportunity.
The inverse of this theory is that categories that attract lots of players but where those players are more evenly distributed across the published maps represent a good opportunity for building an audience. Similarly, new categories with lots of player interest but relatively low competition in the form of published maps also seem to hold promise.
The following charts illustrate our theory about promising and unpromising map categories:

Unpromising

image.png
Categories that have lots of maps, but low overall player numbers means that many creators have tried to find success in the category, but all have failed.
image.png
Categories with a lot of maps and players, but with player activity concentrated in a few top maps are also unpromising - lots of creators have tried to attract players away from the dominant maps, but have not been successful.

Neutral

image.png
Categories that have few maps and few players are neutral - they may be new categories which have not generated much attention yet, from players or creators.

Promising

image.png
Categories with lots of players but few maps are promising - it is likely there is unsatisfied demand.

image.png
Maps with lots of players and maps but with a more gradual drop-off indicates a player community that is interested in trying different experiences. It’s likely that new games have a better chance of gaining traction under these circumstances.

Data and Analysis

We analyzed data about popular categories currently available in Fortnite Creative. Following the theory described above, we attempted to quantify promising categories by considering a category’s popularity measured in concurrent players as well as the overall number of maps within the category. Furthermore, we determined the number of maps within a category that actually had player interest, as a way to measure how much success in a category is distributed across maps within that category or whether it’s concentrated at the top.
We used data from to find out how many maps exist in each category and then how many of those maps have concurrent players > 20 players. We then expressed this as a ratio, representing proportion of maps within a category that are truly “active.” Below is a sample of the Source Data.
Source Data Sample
0
Example: ​Practice Maps ​Total Concurrent Players: 106,900Number of Islands: 14,380 Number of Active Islands: 500 Active Ratio: 3.48%
Team Deathmatch MapsTotal Concurrent Players: 55,515Number of Islands: 6,100 Number of Active Islands: 120 Active Ratio: 1.97%
Horror Maps ​Total Concurrent Players: 29,304Number of Islands: 1,840 Number of Active Islands: 100 Active Ratio: 5.43%

Based on our theory described above, in the above example Horror seems like a more promising category than Team Deathmatch because a much higher proportion of existing maps actually has active players.
We also attempted to estimate the size, in player concurrency, of the opportunity represented by these categories by tracking the absolute concurrent population of the top 20 games within a category and also the ratio between the #1 game in the category and the #20 game.

Basic Findings

There were a couple of clear outliers in our analysis of active map ratio statistics. Most categories seem to cluster around an active map ratio of approximately 2-3%. Horror, Simulator, and Tycoon are all much higher than that though:
Horror: 5.43% Simulator: 9.80% Tycoon: 12.50%
Based on this analysis, we determine that Tycoon games still represent an excellent opportunity, with a good balance of absolute player numbers as well as relatively un-saturated published map offerings, representing a good chance for a new map in that category of finding success.

Limitations

We should note that while we found this methodology helpful in visualizing an overview of popular game types in Fortnite, this approach is not perfect or comprehensive. Categories, as defined and tracked by Epic, are very broad, and certain game types might not fit clearly in any of the categories that currently exist. As already mentioned, “Practice” maps contain many different sub-genres, including Box Fight, Zone Wars, etc. Tycoon-style maps consist of several sub-genres, so if we decide to focus on that category, we will still need to narrow down our recommendation to determine the exact combination of features we think offers the most promise.

Initial Recommendation

The Tycoon genre has been flourishing in Fortnite Creative for several months, and is still strong. This game genre has a long history of popularity dating back to Roblox, and several popular Fortnite Tycoon maps have been direct clones of popular Roblox Tycoon games.
It makes sense that Tycoon has become popular and remains lucrative in the existing Fortnite Creative ecosystem. Many players are familiar with the basic rules, so there isn’t much to learn. The basic structure of the games leads to excellent retention: because the gameplay is about growth of a player’s score over time, players need to play the game for an extended period if they wish to beat the game. Tycoon games are also easy to play solo, and an individual Tycoon game is still fun even if there are no other players online at the same time. This is a good match for how games build an audience within Fortnite Creative and gain a good position within the Discover feed.

Overseas Appeal and Theme

Tycoon games have broad global appeal because of their simple gameplay and satisfying “number goes up” premise. In order to distinguish themselves. Tycoon games tend to feature an overall theme, like “Superhero” or “Billionaire” or “Youtuber.” Sometimes the theme’s relationship is superficial and doesn’t have much to do with the gameplay. Increasingly, popular maps seem to customize the basic Tycoon gameplay with at least a few unique elements that correspond to the map’s theme.
Identifying a theme that will appeal to a broad overseas audience, and likely has room for one or two interesting but achievable unique game mechanics, is the approach we recommend.

Questions for Mondrian

What is the main goal for this map? Generating revenue? Building the Mondrian brand?
Which overseas regions is Mondrian most interested in? All of the West? The Anglosphere? Europe and North America?
Are there brand elements Mondrian would like to include in this new map, or is it a completely self-contained experience? Are there any art assets Mondrian could share that might be included?



Share
 
Want to print your doc?
This is not the way.
Try clicking the ⋯ next to your doc name or using a keyboard shortcut (
CtrlP
) instead.