Epic is taking its effort to spotlight players' Creative Mode creations one step further in the coming weeks, when it plans to feature a Creative Mode game as part of Season 7's Battle Pass Challenges for Week 11. Players have been able to explore user-made content on The Block -- an area of the Battle Royale island dedicated to Creative Mode endeavors -- but this will be the first time Epic has distributed an actual mode designed by a player.
"Starting in the 7.40 patch we will feature games that have coins used in interesting ways," Epic said on its blog. "A Season 7 Week 11 Battle Royale challenge will use the coins as part of the challenge, exposing your featured map to lots of players."
For a player's Creative Mode game to be eligible, it must contain 10 Challenge Coins, which can be found in Creative Mode's Challenge Gallery set. The 10 coins should be arranged "based on difficulty, creating a range of difficulty for coin collection." Beyond that, however, Epic says that all game types will be considered, and that "the uniqueness and fun of your island" is also part of the judgement criteria, so your game also needs to look good, not just work well.
We have mixed feelings about this. Creative Mode is obviously a huge thing, and we think that Epic should definitely exemplify members of its community that create amazing things. The Block, for instance, is a good example of this -- Epic gets a new location for the island, and the user that created said location gets their name on the map, along with all the internet fame that entails. There is labor involved in creating the new location, but its use by Epic isn't really monetized in any way. No one is logging in and buying v-bucks because this week's thing on The Block is particularly interesting.
In this case, however, Epic is asking players to design an entire game mode, and by extension, a new weekly Battle Pass challenge, which is supposed to be some Epic employee's actual job. Someone at Epic would normally be paid real human dollars for the work that a user will now be doing instead, for free. Free work that benefits a progression system that actively encourages players to spend money -- money that this volunteer laborer will never receive a portion of. It's definitely not the grossest instance of community labor exploitation that we've ever seen by a major games corporation, not by a long shot, but it still feels weird.
To us, at least. If it doesn't feel weird to you, or you're okay getting paid in Reddit fame, submit your coin-based island code to Fortnite's official Twitter account to have your creation considered.