Five of gaming’s most recognizable streamers are banding together to develop a creator-led, community-driven Fortnite experience. Ninja, NICKMERCS, TimtheTatman, CouRageJD and SypherPK will collaborate with SuperJoy Studios, a specialty division of Sypher’s Oni Studios, to launch the tentatively titled “Project V.”
These creators (and their combined audiences of 120-plus million followers) will shape the creative direction of Project V. The team will launch a subscriber-exclusive Discord server where fans can provide feedback and vote on the direction of the project.
“Community involvement will be expressed during the game’s development in identifying everything from the game’s objective and mechanics to its lore. Many of those elements will be experimental as the team refines new Battle Royale formats, so having a near-instant feedback loop will be critical in avoiding undesirable developmental pitfalls,” a spokesperson familiar with the project told GamesBeat.
Continued community engagement is central to Project V’s ethos. The team has exclusive early-access events, seasonal community-first events and other plans to reward its most engaged community members. For example, fans that sign up early will receive special access to “founder” experiences.
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Additionally, the team plans to provide ongoing support post-launch. “Like Fortnite itself, the game will be an iterative experience that introduces new content all year long, so the community involvement element never really expires,” the spokesperson said.
Creators developing games
Project V represents another high profile example of creators crossing over into game development. Some early examples have already hit the market, but the scope and scale of these creator-driven projects are growing.
For Ninja, NICKMERCS, Tim the Tatman, CourageJD and SypherPK, this project signals a professional turning point. These creators are maturing into creative executives. Project V will grant these five streamers more control over how they engage with fans on stream.
SypherPK launched SuperJoy Studios in March to develop experiences using Epic Games’ Unreal Editor for Fortnite. UEFN gives developers a more robust toolkit than Fortnite Creative 1.0, while still launching these experiences in Fortnite. In turn, these creators and Project V now have more tools to integrate and build tailored experiences that feature brand partners.
This structure is major advantage for Project V. Unlike previous examples of creators developing original games, these creators do not need to drive their fans to a new platform. Project V will be accessible inside the game that brought them and their audiences together.
The customizability and interconnected ecosystem UEFN unlocks allows Epic to more directly compete against Roblox. In turn, Project V pointed to Roblox’s community-driven Brookhaven RP server as an inspiration for their upcoming “fully dedicated gaming universe.”
Project V’s future
Project V’s full launch is scheduled for Q2 2024. This gives the team about a year to develop, test and iterate on fan feedback. SuperJoy Studios is currently hiring developers to build out its team.
While Sypher’s Oni Studios and SuperJoy Studios will play a central role, it’s not clear if or how the other streamers will leverage resources at their disposal.
Ninja recently joined esports and gaming conglomerate GamesSquare as its Chief Innovation Officer. Part of his role is launching an incubator dubbed, Ninja Labs. Both Ninja Labs and GameSquare’s various resources could give Project V another boost.
Additionally, the other creators have ties to esports teams. TimtheTatman is a part owner of esports team Complexity (which is a subsidiary of GameSquare). CourageJD is a co-owner of 100 Thieves. Coincidentally, 100 Thieves is developing its own game. Finally, NICKMERCS is a co-owner of FaZe Clan.
A spokesperson confirmed that all five creators have personally invested into Project V and will be contributing in other meaningful ways.
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