'Core' wants to change how games are made and played with Early Access debut

Core Game
Core Game (Image credit: Manticore Games)

From a Roblox IPO that smashed expectations to buzz around Media Molecule's Dreams, the allure of accessible game creation is unmistakable. And with "Core," the latest from San Mateo-based Manticore Games, the studio sets out to change the ways games are made across the industry. It's an ambitious premise — some would say far-fetched — but the Epic Games-backed project now enters Early Access well-poised to take on the big names as a platform for game production and consumption.

Core launches into the Epic Games Store this Thursday, fundamentally an Unreal Engine-based game editor, doubling as a platform for distributing and hosting creations. It's a hassle-free sandbox to make PC games, accommodating those with little to no prior skill but with advanced tools also available. Players can then access these projects through a dedicated storefront, rotating out games and genres on the fly with no downloads.

While that no-code design and abundance of premade assets reduce that initial friction, it also comes with more advanced scripting tools and a marketplace of community content to help newcomers. That allows Core to accommodate various mini-games, 20,000 as it leaves alpha testing, spanning anything from fluid first-person shooters to stylized puzzle games.

Core shares philosophies with many similar titles, but its execution aims to accommodate projects of all sizes, and a platform over a self-contained experience. It comes after over $160 million in funding to date, recently closing its Series C funding round, following $15 million from Epic Games in late 2020.

The ease of sharing is also immediately evident, a trait that could prove valuable in a modern, ever-connected world. It allows you to make games streamlined from concept to execution, publishable in a few clicks, with easy deployment of updates over time. Everything hosted through Core is also accessible via a shareable URL, with one-click access automatically booting you straight into the game, aided by no additional downloads.

Core was built with the long-term in mind, with plans to support creators and establish viable revenue streams. The majority of monetization looks to come from community content, allowing creators to sell works with a 50/50 revenue split with the platform holder. Manticore Games hopes that share will prove alluring, highlighting a similar program for Roblox that shares just 24.5% of profits with those making content.

It's still early days for Core, launch as a free PC-based tool into Early Access, but aiming to later make games playable on consoles and mobile. It's a robust foundation, bolstered by an impressive volume of early content, but the value ahead rides on the community it fosters. Core is now available via the Epic Games Store for free in Early Access.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.