Inside Typical Gamer’s $2 Million Bet on Jogo, His Own UEFN Studio

Over the past year, Fortnite creator Andre “Typical Gamer” Rebelo has been working diligently behind the scenes on a different kind of gaming achievement. Instead of focusing solely on Battle Royale records or content, Rebelo has made a name for himself in Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN). In addition to his nearly 24 million followers and 105 million monthly views, Rebelo and his team of 20 developers are the sixth most popular UEFN creators.

Typical Gamer previously left stealth mode and launches his own UEFN studio Jogo and serves as CEO. The name comes from the word for play in Portuguese, Rebelo’s native language.

Together with COO Chad Mustard and CTO Mark Price, the team plans to incubate top talent and push the boundaries of UEFN. And Rebelo makes a huge bet with his own money to make this happen.

“Jogo is developing the next era of Fortnite Games. These days, a lot of Fortnite maps are battle-based, but Epic wants it to be a place where all kinds of games can live and find an audience. We’re going to introduce these new genres and we’re going to spend a lot of money to make that happen. We are betting $2 million so we can recruit triple-A talent,” Rebelo told GamesBeat in an interview.

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Road to Jogo Studios

The leadership of Jogo Studios met years ago through Fortnite. One of the reasons the team did so well was that Rebelo, Mustard and Price all have experience in content creation and game development.

Mustard is also a content creator with over 900,000 subscribers, specializing in Fortnite Creative. He also happens to be the brother of Epic Games’ former Chief Creative Officer, Donald Mustard.

Price has worked in the games industry since 2009, including a stint at Activision. He left a developer coaching startup in April 2022 and started creating tutorials for UEFN’s Verse programming language as soon as it became available.

Meanwhile, Rebelo learned PHP when he was 12 to make mods for games (and make some money on the side).

When UEFN was announced, the team behind Jogo was off to the races. The team spoke a common language and united with a grand vision to build “the Pixar of UGC.”

Typical Gamer and Jogo Studios have published seven UEFN maps to date.

“Our biggest ambition is to create IP that lives inside and outside of Fortnite. It’s a natural stepping stone because that’s where a large portion of my audience lives and breathes, and it’s where we can provide the most value to the most people right away. But we want to exist on other UGC platforms, maybe in media shows, memorabilia, all that kind of stuff. We want to create these IPs that people know and love through UGC platforms,” said Rebelo. “We are betting that we can launch our own IP in this UGC space.”

Proving UEFN’s speed and flexibility, the studio published its first game Fortnut in less than two months. The miniature perspective has been carried over into subsequent releases, most notably Toy Bed Wars. Today, Jogo Studios has developed and published seven titles that reach an average of 20,000 players every day.

Bringing Triple-A talent to UEFN

Over the past twelve months, Jogo Studios has developed its processes and talent to best function in UEFN. Of course, there are pros and cons to working on an emerging platform.

“Epic Games has opened up the power of Unreal Engine to a UGC market. We have access to these powerful tools that I’ve been working with for years. They removed some things, but on the other hand, normal game development sucks. UEFN is great because we can now focus on the fun parts, the things that make players happy. You don’t rebuild an engine from the ground up like you do in a traditional studio,” Price told GamesBeat. “You also have to readjust yourself as a team or developer from the industry to a smaller release cycle. We build things faster, so that you also experience your failures and successes faster.”

Given these faster turnaround times, Jogo Studios has focused on iteration. In particular, the team has revised and streamlined the maps post-launch to best meet the expectations of the Fortnite audience.

“We’ve had to take some of our games back from what we liked and completely rebuild them to make them as basic as possible,” Mustard said. “Our most popular game right now was very different from when we launched. With triple-A development, you can’t make the same kinds of adjustments after launch.”

In addition to learning more internally about UEFN’s potential, Price has spearheaded efforts to bring in new talent. Jogo Studios is hiring with plans to scale to 35-40 developers by the end of the year. An obstacle to reaching this point is that developers are not always aware of UEFN’s potential.

“I’ve talked to AAA engineers who have no idea that you have the power of Unreal Engine at your fingertips in UEFN, and that you can create anything, because you don’t really see that right now,” Price said. “There’s always a light bulb moment when you talk to someone who is AAA and they explain everything that’s possible here.”

Creators diversifying Fortnite

Epic is charting a course to develop Fortnite and its various modes into a brand new gaming platform. In addition to the UEFN rollout, Epic has added Rocket Racing, Fortnite Festival and Lego Fortnite in the past year. Additionally, Disney’s $1.5 billion investment in Epic will boost expansion efforts and give potential partners more assurance that the platform can be brand safe.

Ultimately, UEFN helps Epic finalize its offering to players. Instead of developing every experience in-house, Epic has built an accessible toolkit for developers to reach their player base. During UEFN’s first year, more than 130 million people played the more than 80,000 creator-made maps. In turn, Epic has also paid out $320 million to creators as engagement rewards.

Typical Gamer joins a number of other content creators focused on game development and publishing. This is a logical choice, as these creators can market their own games and maps to their existing audience. Of course, UEFN is a natural option for Fortnite personalities to diversify their own income and reach their primary audience.

“Typical Gamer has been creating content for over a decade. We’ve heard so many stories about longtime fans introducing their own children to Fortnite or its stream,” said Nick Brotman, SVP and talent manager at Night Media. “The ability to reach an audience of six to thirty-five is attractive. Fortnite is the only UGC platform with such generational reach.”

What’s next for Jogo Studios and UEFN

Competition to establish a presence on the UEFN is increasing. Jogo Studios is hiring talent to further build out its library of cards and evolve them at the same time. This content will continue to live on passive monetization, which is critical given the funding source.

“Right now we are completely financed by myself and the profits we have made,” Rebelo said. “That doesn’t mean we won’t look for investors in the future, but we will terribly confident and we are placing a big bet on ourselves.”

Part of this confidence comes from the inevitable improvements to UEFN’s tools and capabilities.

“There are still things to be ironed out with tools, Verse, publishing, the algorithm and discovery, but we’ve come a long way,” Mustard said. “What gives me the most hope is Epic’s announcement at GDC that they will be building Battle Royale on UEFN in 2025. That’s a huge commitment and it’s exciting for a company like ours. As they interact with the tools, they will add and fix things.

For example, Mustard pointed out how Fortnite Creative maps currently struggle to support more than 50 players. Obviously, Epic will have to address this limit to accommodate the current maximum lobby size of 100 players.

As competition (and alleged DMCA takedown manipulation) increases, Typical Gamer, Jogo and its leadership believe the UGC content market could grow to 10 figures in the coming years. This will accelerate if Epic’s Verse API lives up to its hype as the programming language of the metaverse.

Until then, Jogo Studios is embracing its namesake as it looks to establish its own UGC-native gaming IP.

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