Roblox’s game development tools are accessible enough that it’s likely the next generation of game designers and entrepeneurs will emerge from its creator scene. Roblox is also now successful enough, however, that the current generation of developers and entrepeneurs look at it and think, ‘we want to do that, too’.
Example: Core, which you could and I will describe as ‘Roblox but with Fortnite graphics’, is now available in early access on the Epic Games Store.
Core is a “game creation and publication platform”. Basically it’s a set of tools that make it easy to make games in the Unreal Engine with zero coding experience, and then easy to distribute those games to players. It’s been in alpha for the past year and developers Manticore Games say they’ve had 1 million players and that there are over 20,000 free playable games currently available.
All of those games are user-created, and much like Roblox, the creators can monetise their work. Core offers a 50/50 split on revenue between them and the creators.
Manticore also claim, in a press release, that Core has “introduced a level of disruption to game creation and play that’s similar to how YouTube revolutionized video.” Bold! YouTube, by the way, is the second most popular website on the planet. This is a bit like me running to the shops to buy a Freddo and then telling people I’m similar to Usain Bolt.
It seems invitable – particularly given Roblox’s recent IPO – that more folks will try to get a piece of that game creation metaverse pie. I’m not sure that there’s anything desireable about Core’s higher visual fidelity, however.
Roblox’s blocky, Minecraft-like world is one of its strengths. Partly because it allows the game to run comfortably on low-spec machines. Partly because it allows for a muck-around creativity that’s forgiving of its young creators’ inexperience with, say, texture creation. And partly because it dissuades those same creators from making games that are violent, except in the most cartoonish of ways, thus offering some comfort to parents who see their kids’ clicking on random games on the internet.
This isn’t to say that the Roblox ecosystem doesn’t have all kinds of problems, but I wonder if the higher poly counts will doom Core to a higher percentage of uninspired fare like this. If I was being extra cynical, I’d say Roblox gives teenagers just enough power that they can create anything, and Core gives teenagers so much power that they can’t help but create shabby recreations of triple-A games.
Of course, if I thought I could create something better, I could always have a go. Core is available to download for free now from the Epic Games Store.