During the star-studded Fortnite charity event over the weekend, Epic played a brief clip of a Fortnite cartoon that showed off popular skins as actual characters. We’ve gotten plenty of cinematics before, especially near the start of recent seasons, but this is the first time Epic has made something for the battle royale portion with actual voice acting in it.
And it’s terrific.
That quality isn’t just due to Fortnite’s strong character design that lends itself well to a cartoon; Epic also deeply understands how people play its games. When you boot up Fortnite, the way to play is with a crew, not random fill-ins. But buddying up also means you have to deal with group dynamics, such as outfit coordination. Thing is, there’s always going to be that one person who wants to wear the silliest skin possible, as you can see in the clip below.
I love Fishstick’s awkward voice and gross, wet sounds here. If I were in the squad, I’d be swapping to a Peely to match the mood.
But, speaking more seriously, this clip is a big deal in the larger world of Fortnite. The battle royale game has already spread to physical merchandise, including skateboards and Nerf guns. Given the game’s popularity with young kids, it was only a matter of time before Epic capitalized on the game’s aesthetics.
It’s what everyone was expecting out of Overwatch — but Blizzard has taken its time in releasing animated shorts for its characters. In some ways, it already feels too late; Overwatch has been left behind.
Fortnite, though, is determined to out-speed everything that has come before it, both in terms of updates, but also when it comes to branching out with the brand itself. Even small item additions are getting trailers. Don’t be surprised if we end up with full-on official Fortnite skits, cartoons, and shorts within the next year. Epic knows what it has on its hands here.