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Roblox vs. Fortnite: What Brands Should Know

Atlas Creative's Michael Herriger breaks down the two popular UGC gaming platforms.


 

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For more the last two years, Roblox has been a popular destination for brands interested in connecting with younger audiences. With over 71.5M daily active users in Q4 2023 and a 20% yearly growth rate, Roblox is attracting more and more brands from Walmart and adidas to Lamborghini and Burberry.


But Epic Games' Fornite has also been attracting a wide variety of brands to their gaming platform. Brands such as HUGO BOSS, Lunchables, Ralph Lauren and Marriott have build branded Fortnite islands in Fortnite Creative mode. And brands such as iHeart Media and Nike have built experiences on both Roblox and Fortnite.


Late last year Fortnite surpassed 100 million monthly active users in November. They released a new mode LEGO Fortnite, and they recently announced a $1.5 billion investment from Disney.


But choosing which platform is a good for your brand might be hard for those unfamiliar with the two platforms.


In order to understand the differences and similarities between these two industry leaders, I reached out to Michael Herriger, CEO of Atlas Creative, which builds branded experiences on both platforms, for his thoughts.



Stephen: You've built a number of Fortnite maps for brands. What do you see as the keys to success for brands on Fortnite?


Michael: It really comes down to creating engaging, interactive experiences that resonate with Fortnite's native players. In order to do that we most commonly ask the question, "Is the experience fun?" It seems simple and intangible but that simple question leads to some really important success metrics like - Do we have a high average play time? Are we reaching players and hitting our impressions? Are players returning to play the next day? Etc...


Your company has expanded to Roblox. What do you believe drives success for brands on Roblox?


Michael: I think there are a lot of similarities to the basic keys in Fortnite with some big differences like the scale of social interaction, how UGC items and monetization is factored in, and the way the core game loop is played, etc... And I think if we are going in the right direction, over time these will start to show up and matter more in Fortnite as well. 



From a brand perspective, are Roblox and Fortnite more similar or dissimilar? Why?


Michael: From a brand perspective Roblox and Fortnite are overall pretty similar, but the big differentiating factor between the two is core audience and their play styles. Fortnite started as a Battle Royale game and has been making the shift to become a UGC platform. Roblox was technically an educational physics tool / UGC platform from the start. And because of that players expect different types of games and experiences and their core demographic can be varied. 


How would you advise brands deciding between Roblox and Fortnite? Should they choose based on target audience? Or something else?


Michael: Brands should consider their target audience, campaign objectives, and the nature of the experience they want to build. When those things are established early, the choice usually becomes pretty clear. 


When does it make sense for a brand to be on both Fortnite and Roblox?


Michael: Being on both platforms can maximize reach and engagement, hitting two user bases and play styles. It also is a great way for brands to show they are serious about this space and looking to come in and build community across various platforms. We are actually about to release original IP on both Fortnite and Roblox simultaneously, so I am sure we will have even more insight on this very soon! 


iHeart Radio partnered with Atlas Creative to create the first ever "always on" media island within Fortnite.

Do you think there's much overlap between Roblox and Fortnite audiences?


Michael: I think there is more overlap than most people think, and I believe that we will see more and more overlap as both platforms continue to grow. Roblox's audience tends to skew younger and leans into creativity and unique games, while Fortnite attracts a slightly older demographic that enjoys action and competitive gameplay, but both of them seem to be actively working on aging up (Roblox) or aging down (Fortnite). 



What upcoming developments or features are you most excited about on each platform?


Michael: I think for both platforms we are excited to see how future tech like e-commerce and AI  show up in the space. And specifically for Fortnite, we are looking forward to more customization options and freedom to reskin / build out our own vehicles, weapons, characters, etc…




Stephen Dypiangco is the CEO of Metaverse Marcom, a strategy and consulting firm helping entertainment and sports brands enter Roblox.



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