Concept Royale Competition – Fun Contest or Exploitation?

Epic Games have this week announced a new style of competition for Fortnite, a Concept Royale. This isn’t an esports tournament that sees the top Fortnite players compete against each other or even a creative mode competition. This is a design competition.

Fans are going to be able to submit their own ideas and concepts for Fortnite skins. The winning designs are going to be chosen to be made into a skin in-game. Fortnite skin concepts are a popular topic in the fanbase, so naturally, a lot of people are excited about this. However, it is worth considering just what the concept actually offers. Some (myself included) have criticized the Concept Royale for failing to actually compensate designers for their skins.

Fortnite Skins

Concept Royale Competition

The Concept Royale Competition began on June 15th with the announcement of the concept. This is giving players the chance to design their own Fortnite skin. It will be part of a Winter 2021 event. So, while it is still Summer, players should be looking at Winter themed ideas for their skin. This competition is limited to participants over 13 only. You’ll have to submit the skin before July 11th too to be in consideration.

The top two skins from this competition are going to be turned into real-life skins, released during the Winter event this year. There are a number of official rules limiting what you can submit. Most of these really just cover the obvious. It has to be an original drawing, nothing that will involve any other copyrighted ideas. You also have to avoid brands or anything that could be considered offensive. These restrictions should probably be obvious. Although, the Epic Games’ staff in charge of going through submissions are probably going to have to sort through a lot of troll entries too.

The Concept Royale idea is fun on the surface, but part of people’s opposition to this has come on the other side of the prize. The two winning competitors are going to be receiving a $2,500 cash prize too.

What’s a Fortnite Skin Worth?

The cash prize for signing over all rights to your decision has been criticized in some circles. Essentially, because it is a paltry prize considering what you’re giving Epic. Fortnite has loads of skins, but they make a lot more than $2,500 per skin. It would have to be a pretty poorly selling skin for it to only warrant a total $2,500 payment, even just for the concept and design. So many have critiqued the Concept Royale as not being particularly fair to the winners.

Considering the number of professional skin concepts that regularly circulate, a fairer payment for the skin would really expect from Epic. This is particularly noticeable since it isn’t the first time, they’ve concluded someone outside of the company in a skin.

We know they regularly share cosmetic revenue both for licensed skins and in a more comparable situation the Fortnite Icon Series. This is the set of skins that are based on popular streamers in the Fortnite community. Epic works directly with streamers to design their skins, then sells them in-game. The streamer receives a cut of the proceeds, a much more generous one than $2,500. Since Epic is already in the business of paying for skin ideas and sharing the revenue, why is the Concept Royale any different?

The competition has definitely seen its fair share of criticism already. However, plenty of fans are still excited about the opportunity to get involved. For many, it is just a chance to design a full skin. It seems that professional and aspiring designers have plenty of reasons to avoid this opportunity. Although, for others, it’ll be a bit of fun.

I just hope Epic also makes a full skin design competition and actually pay off designers a small share of the skin revenue, or even NFT the skin as an extreme rarity.