INTERVIEW: Fortnite Creative developers Atlas have high hopes for future!

We recently had the chance to sit down for a talk with Micahel Herriger, the Co-Founder of Atlas Creative Studios about the developers work on multiple Fortnite Creative projects that included the Halo Blood Gulch map and recent NBA Creative Crossover. Atlas has over 1.7 Billion map plays and over 75 creations available in Fortnite Creative at the time of writing.

With Creative still seemingly finding its legs compared to other development tools like Roblox and Minecraft, where will the future take it? How has Atlas managed to make such an impression within this space and what does its own future hold?

Who Are Atlas Creative Studios?

We figured it was only right to first and foremost ask Michael what his elevator pitch for Atlas Creative Studios would be. For those who are unfamiliar with the developers, what should they know about who Atlas are and what they do?

We at Atlas Creative pride ourselves on bringing some of the best content out there to Fortnite Creative. That gets split up into two areas, our Fortnite Creative games that you'll find across the Discover page and the other half being our brand deals that has become the heartbeat of our company right now.

We were curious as to how brand deals come about in Fortnite Creative so asked about the role that Atlas plays in this process. Does Atlas pitch the brand and then Epic? Are Epic involved from the beginning or sometimes not at all? Also, how does Atlas make a decision on who to work with?

It works differently for every single brand that we work with. There are some situations, like with the NBA, that was us being reached out to by both Epic and the NBA. The partnership was already in place and we were tasked with bringing that vision to life.
There's other situations like with our LG deal. So many brands are reaching out to Epic but they can't accomodate them all, in this case our deal was done directly with the brand and we take care of every aspect of the deal.

Past and Future deals

With so many incredible deals already under their belt, we were keen to know if Michael had a standout project from the portfolio that was either the defining moment for the team or that he felt was the most fun to work on.

Halo was just, growing up in high school, Halo 3 was the big thing so it was huge for me personally but it was also our first major brand deal. It meant a lot to us and even got covered at The Game Awards. Me and my wife were watching at home and it was a complete surprise, it had me jumping up and down, it was a great moment.
The NBA also sticks out a lot because it was a project where we, as a company, really came into our own. We gained a true identity from that deal and that meant a lot too.

We then flipped the question a little and asked whether or not there was a brand or IP out there that Atlas would love to get their hands on and work with in the future.

They've already done collabs with Fortnite, but not really in the creative space, so I would say Disney for sure. I'm a huge fan of those properties, be it Star Wars or Marvel, in particular Spider-Man. We could do something amazing there for sure.

The popularity of Fortnite Creative

One big stumbling block for Fortnite Creative could be that the Battle Royale format is just too popular and takes eyes away from the sandbox mode. We asked if Michael if he feels like there is something more that Epic could do to help advertise the game mode and popularize it even more.

One big thing is that despite BR being so huge, it does bring eyes to the Creative format but the downside is that so many are still unaware on what they're missing out on. I would say they're actually starting to promote it a lot more with tweets going out from the main account and the Discover tab was a big addition too.
As much as BR is a big thing, I think you're going to be talking about Creative as the future of the game going forward. I'm excited to see what else Epic does with it.

When thinking about all those players who are yet to experience Fortnite Creative, we wanted to know what Michael would say to them to give them an idea of what they are missing out on?

I would tell them that, with Creative, the sky is the limit. You can do everything you love about BR or take things in a different direction and play an RPG or Role-Playing experience. So many players are unaware of the experiences they're missing out on. There is so much more that is possible, and we're just scratching the surface with creative right now. More tools and developments are on the horizon that will blow things open too.

What's Missing from Creative?

We were keen to know if there was any big feature missing from Fortnite Creative that the team at Atlas would love to see implemented and they knew exactly what they wanted...

I think in line with what Tim Sweeney's ethos is, especially in the recent fight against Apple, would be an Open Marketplace.

We then challenged back whether this marketplace was something that could allow users to share their creations with other developers or one that allows creators to monetise their creations within Fortnite.

Its a little of both. For the players end it would be so you could buy power ups or cosmetics for specific game modes. For the creator, it would be really amazing if the open marketplace would allow us to sell our mechanics to other players. It then means that you don't need to be a pro at all aspects of Creative to make an impression. You could be amazing at visual design but then port in all the other mechanics at a later time.

What's next for Atlas?

Atlas are clearly an ambitious studio and will continue to work on their original Fortnite Creative content while also seeking out opportunities to work with popular brands and bring their properties to the game.

We look forward to seeing what the studio does next and be sure to keep an eye on their socials for the latest - Twitter - YouTube - Instagram

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