Epic has made acquisitions and otherwise signalled plans for a Fortnite metaverse, but its latest move is one of the most obvious yet. The developer has introduced Fortnite Party Worlds, or maps that are solely intended as social spaces to meet friends and play mini games. Unlike Hubs, these environments don't link to other islands — think of them as final destinations.
The company has collaborated with creators fivewalnut and TreyJTH to offer a pair of example Party Worlds (a theme park and a lounge). However, the company is encouraging anyone to create and submit their own so long as they focus on the same goal of peaceful socialization.
This doesn't strictly represent a metaverse when Party Worlds live in isolation. At the same time, this shows how far Fortnite has shifted away from its original focuses on battle royale and co-op gaming — there are now islands devoted solely to making friends, not to mention other non-combat experiences like virtual museums and trial courses. We wouldn't expect brawls to disappear any time soon, but they're quickly becoming just one part of a much larger experience.