WPP has struck a partnership with Epic Games – the company behind hit games such as Fortnite and Gears of War – and development software Unreal Engine. The alliance will provide WPP creatives with training on creating immersive 3D brand experiences in Fortnite and Unreal Engine.
Nilufar Fowler, executive vice-president of strategic partnerships at WPP, explained in a statement: “Epic’s technology is world-class and we are delighted to partner with it to raise the bar for social experiences in virtual worlds on behalf of our clients.
“We think of WPP as the creative transformation company, one that embraces new environments like the metaverse and sees the potential for clients.”
Successful products in their own right, Fortnite and Unreal have become increasingly important tools in the creative arsenal of marketing agencies. Physics engine Unreal is commonly used to create 3D brand experiences, while agencies and advertisers have made use of the Fortnite sandbox to engage with players.
According to a statement from WPP, the partnership will deepen its creatives’ expertise in this area through a ‘metaverse curriculum’ offered to creatives, strategists, executives and its media experts.
Matthew Henick, vice-president of metaverse development at Epic, said: “The collaboration between Epic, WPP, its clients and the creator community will accelerate the building of diverse social entertainment experiences that players across the world will love.
“This partnership with WPP bolsters our mission to educate more trailblazing brands and creators on how Epic’s tools across Fortnite, Unreal Engine and 3D marketplaces like ArtStation and Sketchfab can be used to bring their metaverse visions to life.”
Earlier this year, WPP launched metaverse practice The Metaverse Foundry with founding clients that included Duracell, Pizza Hut, Under Armor and Bombay Sapphire. Mehta Mehta, global executive creative director at Hogarth Worldwide, told The Drum in March that educating marketing practitioners on the opportunities to be had in the metaverse would be key to its growth. He said: “Not everyone has a degree in technology. How do you bring them into the metaverse, [and] how do you nurture them once they’re there?”