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From Drake to porn, everyone wants a piece of Fortnite

Everything is moving in reverse

2017 NBA Awards Live On TNT - Inside Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for TNT

It shouldn’t be this way.

Video games have often used celebrities in an attempt to get mainstream attention, usually with awkward results, but Fortnite enjoys such a large audience that everything is flipped upside down. Now celebrities are using video games to try to reach people.

Even pornography, which should basically sell itself, is trying to use Fortnite for attention. The whole situation is baffling, and shows just how much we may be underestimating the size and cultural importance of Fortnite.

Drake may be a huge fan of the game, but reaching out to the mega-popular streamer Ninja to play is the sort of PR that both musicians and video games would kill for. This wasn’t a planned event meant to get people talking — the timing doesn’t make sense for a publicity stunt of this magnitude — but it worked. For everyone. Drake was exposed to a huge number of people who may or may not have already been listening to his music. And now they know who he is, and they probably like him.

Because of a video game.

Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster also tweeted one of the most surreal things I’ve ever seen about a video game, and life in general.

That was tweeted at five in the morning, in case you missed that detail. This is the sort of honest promotion that may have a bit of self-interest involved, but seems at least partially sincere. Epic games has pulled off one of the biggest PR coups in the history of games, and I don’t believe that’s hyperbole.

Even Pornhub, which offers a product that shouldn’t need that much promotion, is publicizing how users are interacting with Fortnite on its platform. It seems like fans like to show up and search for some ... pretty specific terms.


Pornhub also stated that the visitors most likely to search for Fortnite are in the 18-to-24 year-old range, which makes sense with the trend of younger folks playing the game.

Even notorious YouTube “star” Logan Paul, who seems to have a gift for generating publicity, is jumping into the world of Fortnite. Logan Paul’s channel has blown up, and created controversy due in part to the ongoing racist nature of the chat, but Paul has yet to actually stream. Just saying he was going to play Fortnite was enough to get people talking about him and following him on a new platform.

But Paul and the gaming community may be comfortable using each other for attention and notoriety.

“I don’t think ppl should be upset at all about Logan Paul on Twitch,” popular streamer Summit1g tweeted. “The amount of ppl he can bring over from YouTube can only be a good thing for the site and has potential of some of those ppl staying and lurking other channels. Use your business mind on this one dudes.”

Mainstream celebrities using, or maybe the better word would be “enjoying,” Fortnite for publicity and headlines is an inversion of how promotion has historically worked in games, but so far this new reality seems to be working out for everyone involved. The stars in question get a jolt of publicity and new followers from the world of gaming, and Fortnite becomes an even larger success.

The only question is who is going to show up next.

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