April 17
Section Text 1.1
Emerging Technology

A New Era of Associate Engagement: Building a Fortnite Experience

By: MAtt EhLers | March 19, 2024
founderiepitching Bits & Blocks Clubblockchain201

At first glance, it might not seem like Fortnite would have a place within Fidelity. After all, the act of saving for retirement is not embedded within the wildly successful video game that in some months has attracted more than 100 million users.


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

10:00 am - 11:00 a.m. ET



  • Facebook.
  • Twitter.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Print

In its most popular iteration, Fortnite players parachute onto an island and hunt for gear to help defend themselves against their competitors. Last player standing is the winner.

But take another look. Succeeding at Fortnite can require communication, teamwork, and ingenuity, qualities that can help associates build successful Fidelity careers. Remove the vanquish-your-enemy aspect of the game, and suddenly you have a lush digital world ripe for adventurous team building, or getting-to-know-you experiences that are unlike any other.

So that is what FCAT’s Emerging Tech incubator set out to do: To put a Fidelity twist onto Fortnite, and build their own island where associates could scamper around familiar buildings, race motorcycles against their teammates or bond over trivia contests.

“Every time we play, there is pure joy on associates’ faces,” says Jamie Barras, VP of IT Product Management, who leads the Emerging Tech incubator. “Everyone is laughing and having fun.”

Remote Team-Building

The Emerging Tech incubator leads FCAT’s explorations into the newest consumer technologies. Augmented and virtual realities, holograms, AI avatars, and the metaverse all fall under the team’s purview, as the incubator builds proofs of concepts (POCs) to test the ways in which Fidelity may interact with associates and customers in the future.

The incubator has a strong reputation across the firm for experimentation, and when associates were sent home during the Covid shutdown, it received numerous questions about remote team-building. The Fortnite project grew from those requests. In the spring of 2023, Unreal Editor for Fortnite was released to the public, so outside developers could build their own games and experiences directly onto Fortnite.

The incubator jumped at that opportunity and teamed up with Horizon Productions, a North Carolina-based creative studio, to construct Fidelity’s Fortnite island. Although the basics of the classic Fortnite game require players to shoot their opponents, that’s a no-go for team bonding. Weapons are absent on the island. Instead, associates can focus on team-based trivia games and scavenger hunts. The island boasts representations of Fidelity buildings in Massachusetts, Texas, and North Carolina, so associates can explore familiar (and not-so-familiar) environments.

By design, there is also a large, unstructured aspect of the island experience. Associates can climb buildings, race each other in cars, boats, motorcycles, and — just like children on a playground — explore their surroundings and have a blast.

“It’s so great to drop in with eight or 10 associates, and have fun conversations while you’re running around the island,” Barras says.

Fidelity constantly experiments with ways to improve the associate experience. In this era of hybrid work, sometimes that means trying out new configurations of furniture and in-office technology. Other times, it means dropping onto a digital island to hang out with colleagues.

“It’s a very exciting new frontier,” says Sam Moser, Head of Associate Labs, which works to innovate the associate experience. Inside Fidelity, she received one of the game’s first looks, and notes that it fits with the firm’s commitment to setting up associates for success. “We’re all about creating great environments for our associates, so they can do their best work every day.”

Fidelity’s Fortnite island definitely struck a chord. When it opened to a broader group of associates for a trial run, the Emerging Tech incubator was overrun with requests to test the game.

Only the Beginning

The island represents one kind of experiment for associates and how they interact, but it is by no means the end of the journey. The Emerging Tech incubator pokes and prods a wide range of technologies, and as hybrid working becomes more entrenched, will continue to build experiences that challenge conventional thinking. Right now, Zoom and Teams are the norm for workday conversations, but what about next year or five years in the future? Associates want to be on the forefront of new technologies, and POCs like Fidelity’s Fortnite island can help take them there.

“This is just the beginning of the ways we are going to interact with each other more spatially and immersively in the future,” Barras says. “Fortnite may be a game, but we have shown that it can have a positive impact on the workplace.”

For the team that worked on the island, it was a chance to blend a passion for video games with a desire to build an even stronger Fidelity community. It’s the kind of forward-thinking experiment that FCATers are known for, but this project also speaks to Fidelity’s broader culture of innovation.

“It’s in our DNA to constantly be curious,” Moser says. “For generations, Fidelity’s leadership has had a passion for technology and being on the leading edge. We have a commitment to innovation and long-term thinking, so we can take the time and invest the resources for experimentation. Not every company does.”

  • Facebook.
  • Twitter.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Print
The opinions provided are those of the author and not necessarily those of Fidelity Investments or its affiliates. Fidelity does not assume any duty to update any of the information. Fidelity and any other third parties mentioned are independent entities and not affiliated. Mentioning them does not suggest a recommendation or endorsement by Fidelity.
Please enter a valid e-mail address
Please enter a valid e-mail address
Important legal information about the e-mail you will be sending. By using this service, you agree to input your real e-mail address and only send it to people you know. It is a violation of law in some jurisdictions to falsely identify yourself in an e-mail. All information you provide will be used by Fidelity solely for the purpose of sending the e-mail on your behalf.The subject line of the e-mail you send will be "Fidelity.com: "

Your e-mail has been sent.

Your e-mail has been sent.

Related Articles

Matt Ehlers | March 19, 2024
At first glance, it might not seem like Fortnite would have a place within Fidelity. After all, the act of saving for retirement is not embedded within the wildly successful video game that in some months has attracted more than 100 million users. But take another look. Succeeding at Fortnite can require communication, teamwork, and ingenuity, qualities that can help associates build successful Fidelity careers.
Emerging Technology
BY: Jacob Kozhipatt | March 1, 2023
The report is the result of extensive analysis of societal trends and emerging technologies by the FCAT research team. Its eight chapters dive into key themes in technology and culture and will be made available over the coming weeks. Until then, here is a sneak preview into what to expect and how the findings could impact the future of finance and beyond.
BY: Jacob Kozhipatt | February 27, 2023
MIT’s XR Hackathon is one of the prestigious competitions in immersive tech. A majority of applicants come from the United States, China, and India. The background of the attendees reflected the demographic change that’s occurred in the broader XR space. What happens at the hackathon?

This website is operated by Fidelity Center for Applied Technology (FCAT)® which is part of Fidelity Wealth Technologies, LLC, a Fidelity Investments company. FCAT experiments with and provides innovative products, services, content and tools, as a service to its affiliates and as a subsidiary of FMR LLC. Based on user reaction and input, FCAT is better able to engage in technology research and planning for the Fidelity family of companies. FCATalyst.com is independent of fidelity.com. Unless otherwise indicated, the information and items published on this web site are provided by FCAT and are not intended to provide tax, legal, insurance or investment advice and should not be construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any security by any Fidelity entity or any third-party. In circumstances where FCAT is making available either a product or service of an affiliate through this site, the affiliated company will be identified. Third party trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners. All other trademarks are the property of FMR LLC.


This is for persons in the U.S. only.

245 Summer St, Boston MA

© 2008-2024 FMR LLC All right reserved | FCATalyst.com

Terms of Use | Privacy | Security | DAT Support