Epic Games today announced that it’s developed a new replay editor for its Unreal Engine so that game developers can create more streamlined highlight-making tools for players. The news, announced as part of Epic’s annual “State of Unreal” show at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, means that it will be easier than ever to take recordings of game footage and edit them into professional-looking clips for YouTube. Epic even flew out British YouTube personality and Twitch streamer Alastair “Ali-A” Aiken to demo the feature with a custom Fortnite Battle Royale video he made with help from the Epic team.
Epic is stressing that this tool will be available for all developers using the Unreal Engine, meaning it won’t be restricted to just Epic-made games like Fortnite. However, it does make sense that the company would show it off with Fortnite and design it specifically with that game’s streaming and YouTube audience in mind.
The massively popular survival shooter has in just the last few weeks alone reached an unprecedented level of mainstream popularity, thanks in part to popular streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins playing live on Twitch with Drake followed by Epic’s release of an invite-only beta version of Fortnite for iOS. The free-to-play game is the top-streamed game on Twitch at the moment, beating out Riot Games’ League of Legends, and it only looks as if it will continue to rise in popularity as it makes its way to mobile in an official capacity.
A big factor in its popularity is how so many moments in the game make for great highlights. Anyone who’s perused gaming circles on Instagram, Reddit, and Twitter over the last six months has likely seen a fair share of Fortnite clips of stunning victories or hilarious missteps. So a replay editor built directly into the back end of the Unreal Engine should allow Fortnite’s dedicated community of YouTube and Twitch streamers to make even more polished videos and share them far and wide. In turn, that helps boost the popularity of Fortnite, while also advertising the perks of the Unreal Engine. For every game that uses the Unreal Engine, Epic takes a 5 percent cut of gross revenues.
So it’s a win-win for Epic, and it illustrates how the company’s long and steady investment in the Unreal platform has paid off in a big way with a hit like Fortnite. The game is now a big driver of technical advancements for Epic’s game developer toolset.