Grammy-award winning and chart-topping MC Chance the Rapper has previously shared his love for Fortnite, once encouraging developer Epic Games to bring the game to Nintendo Switch. However, Chance is also a staunch defender of creator's rights. This is why he recently took aim at Epic Games over its business practices regarding Fortnite emotes and the lack of proper credit for their original creators.
In a post on Twitter, Chance the Rapper said that Fortnite should include "the actual rap songs behind the dances that make so much money as emotes." The rapper suggested that the black creatives who created the dances are losing out because they made them popular but never monetized them. As a result, these creatives don't get a cut of the money that players spend on unlocking the dance emotes in Fortnite.
Unsurprisingly, Chance's comments have caused a bit of a rift in the Fortnite community. On one side, people staunchly agree with Chance the Rapper, noting that Fortnite makes hundreds of millions of dollars each month from the sale of emotes and other cosmetics. Epic Games can afford to offer some royalties to the dance creators or pay to license their songs and in doing so would earn the company goodwill among creatives and the players who love the emotes so much.
Fortnite should put the actual rap songs behind the dances that make so much money as Emotes. Black creatives created and popularized these dances but never monetized them. Imagine the money people are spending on these Emotes being shared with the artists that made them— Chance The Rapper Album in July (@chancetherapper) July 13, 2018
I also would just rather watch them dance to a real song lol— Chance The Rapper Album in July (@chancetherapper) July 13, 2018
Recently, Epic decreased the cut that it takes on purchases of assets on the Unreal store. The success of Fortnite has seen the company swimming in cash and so, the company suggested, it's only right that asset creators benefit by being able to take home a greater margin of the profit when their assets are purchased. Epic is interested in fairer business practices, then, but so far this line of thinking has not been extended to Fortnite emotes.
But on the other side, some have said that since Epic Games is the one developing these dances into emotes and putting in the work to make them available in the game, shouldn't they reap all of the rewards? Game development isn't easy and so they solely deserve the money made from selling Fortnite emotes.
Some are also hoping that everyone involved can come to a compromise. At the very least, argue some, Epic could at least rename the Fortnite emotes in order to appropriately credit the creators. For example, the 'Hype' emote which was famously performed by Jesse Lingard at the World Cup, is actually the Shoot dance first created by BlocBoy JB for his song Shoot. Likewise, the Milly Rock dance created by 2Milly is known as the Swipe emote in Fortnite. Calling the emotes by their original names would at least provide players a way to find out more about their creators, meaning that they could reap the rewards of the emotes' popularity even as Epic Games refuses to give them a cut.
Fortnite is available now in early access for iOS, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A release on Android devices is also planned.
Source: Twitter - Chance the Rapper