Why I Made Peace with Darth Vader Hitting the Griddy in Fortnite

Popular Fortnite Skins

Fortnite Leads the way with Crossovers

Crossovers and multiverses are all the rage as of late. They have been the main plot for recent superhero films like Spider-Man and Doctor Strange or the indie hit Everything Everywhere All at Once. 

The video game industry is no stranger to crossovers, especially in the fighting game genre. People often tout the last two Avengers movies or even Super Smash Bros Ultimate on the switch as the most ambitious crossover event ever. 

As neat as it is to see Sora and Ness duke it out with music from Cuphead playing in the background, one cannot deny the vast amount of possibilities that can be witnessed in Epic Games’ Fortnite. The free-to-play battle royale is now accessible across all platforms. It has allowed gamers the chance to create some truly random combinations of cultures.

Unlike fighting games or even the likes of the Marvel movies, there appears to be no limit as to who can be in Fortnite. You can purchase real-life celebrities and competitors from rival companies as skins for the game. Compared to another popular game with promotional skins, Minecraft, these are models that look just like the original source. It is a step above the likes of a blocky lego-like version of them. 

Just from other video game series alone players can have a squad of Kratos, Master Chief, Nathan Drake, and Chun-Li. This is one of many combinations from several other popular game series. Playstation and Microsoft’s main mascots can now literally fight to the death. 

Let Your Imagination Run Wild

Similarly, Fortnite players have the ability to settle their Marvel vs. DC debate. You can choose from a healthy dose of skins including Spider-Man, Captain America, Superman, Batman, and Harley Quinn. There are even some lesser-known characters like Dr. Doom and Beastboy who have appeared as cosmetic options. 

Any kid with an imagination and the internet would go bananas with the endless possibilities of faces to see. Cynical critics are probably tired of seeing the nonstop pipeline of skins being promoted.

Being a free-to-play game means that Fortnite makes its profits by selling in-game items and cosmetics. Many of these skins have been promotional. Players need to buy them in order to gain access. Interestingly, they do not change the gameplay or often even play like their respected character. 

There are a few exceptions, though. One of the earlier themed events had players hunt for the Infinity Gauntlet. When grabbing the gauntlet as an item the player will become Thanos, the big bad guy from Avengers.

Thanos Crossover in Fortnite

What Does the Future Hold?

It is a shame that these accurate-looking character models often do not utilize their potential. However, that is to be expected. Fortnite is a third-person, free-for-all shooter that caters to a wide audience. As jarring as it might be to see Lebron James blast an opponent with a purple shotgun and then proceed to the Gangnam-style dance, that is part of the charm.

At the end of the day, these skins are no different than the inflatable flailing arm guys one would see by a car dealership. The only difference is that there is an intellectual property connected to the face. It has gotten to the point where one can use the release calendar for any show or movie as a forecast. One could create a bingo sheet of Fortnite skin predictions.  

I will admit that the novelty of seeing a random face in the game and doing the funny dances today has worn off. As shameless as it is one cannot fault any party involved. 

We’ve even heard Indiana Jones will be joining the game. Indiana Jones has not been relevant in a decade. However, with a new movie in production, I understand the move. 

As a kid who grew up playing the earlier Super Smash Bros. titles, I am direct evidence of the crossover marketing being successful. Like many others, I did not know a single face of those rosters except for the Mario and Pokemon representatives. 

Nintendo was smart. Not only did they showcase these characters throughout the whole series, but they also included an encyclopedia of information. I would have never had the desire to seek out the game Earthbound if I did not like playing as Ness or fully read the information on him.

Ness in the trophy gallery

Without that extra content in those party games, I would have been less exposed to many different video game series or genres. A similar system in Fortnite showcasing all of the skins they have had available, perhaps even highlighting what show or game they are from, can help open some gates. 

We recently got an announcement about a Robocop skin. There is no new Robocop content in production. Without context, the only thing drawing interest is the character’s design. One brief biography stating Robocop’s origins and a list of movie appearances might create a new fan of the franchise. 

Robocop Bundle

One can almost blink and miss the chance to cross paths with some of these limited-time characters. When a player gets eliminated, there is no indication of what skin they had. A player with the Epic account name DarthVaderfan can beat another player wearing an Anderson Paak skin.

Fortnite Silk Sonic Cup

Miraculously, if a young gamer somehow discovers the works of James Earl Jones and decides to get into stage acting thanks to seeing Darth Vader hit the Griddy in Fortnite then I can appreciate that. 

Epic has already created the most ambitious crossover to date. Through their marketing, they have built a potential cultural time capsule. Ultimately, they would be wise to capitalize on that. 

Darth Vader outfit in Fortnite

What are your thoughts on video game crossovers? Join the conversation in the comments section!

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