Have The Fortnite Crossovers Gone Too Far?
Fortnite’s story is often overlooked due to its cartoony nature and the fact that it’s a competitive battle royale game. Despite this, the game is rich in lore and has a deep, complicated story. With each new season, the story has gradually developed and drawn players into the secrets of the island. Today, Fortnite is renowned for its story.
Along with the story, Fortnite has broken down barriers when it comes to crossovers. Fortnite has had the opportunity to produce crossovers on a level never thought possible. The fact that a Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker movie clip was debuted live during an in-game event is a testament to Fortnite’s accomplishments in this department.
These elaborate crossovers had the full support of the community - until now. The Chapter 2 - Season 4 Marvel crossover has taken over the game on a level we’ve never seen before. Everything from the Battle Pass, to the POIs, to the Mythic items, to the story itself, it’s all Marvel themed. This begs the question, have the Fortnite crossovers gone too far?
Before we get into that, first we need to go over a brief recap of the Fortnite story thus far.
The Story of the Fortnite Island
Fortnite seasons 1 and 2 were rather uneventful. It wasn’t until Season 3 that the story really started to develop. Toward the end of Season 3, a large meteorite heading straight toward the island was spotted in the sky. Season 4 began with the meteorite crashing down into the centre of the map. As the season developed, it was revealed that inside the meteorite lied The Visitor. Next, The Visitor would set in place events that the Fortnite world feels the ramifications of to this day.
Once free, The Visitor hacked into the rocket ship inside Season 4’s Villain Base. Soon after, The Visitor entered the rocket ship and launched away in hopes of returning to where he came from. Unfortunately, just before exiting the atmosphere, the rocket malfunctioned. Right as it was about to crash into Tilted Towers, a rift appeared and sucked the rocket ship into it. After bouncing through a series of rifts, The Visitor and his ship eventually disappear into a massive rift in the sky. These rifts served as interdimensional portals and opened the Fortnite world up to other dimensions.
In Season 5, a giant cube spawns out of a rift onto the map. Throughout seasons 5 and 6, The Cube would roll/float around, corrupting the map and collecting energy. Fast forward to mid-Season 6, and The Cube finally explodes over Leaky Lake. As a result, Fortnite players were transported to the In-Between, a new dimension made up of light.
Seasons 7, 8, and 9 have iconic Fortnite villains battling over the newfound power beneath the island's centre lake. We now know this great power as the Zero Point. Sgt. Winter, The Ice King, The Prisoner, Blackheart, and more all wage war on the island in hopes of claiming the Zero Point for themselves. The war came to an end in Season 9 with a battle between the Polar Peak Monster and Singularity's Mecha. During the battle, Singularity was forced to use the power of the Zero Point to defeat the Monster. As a result, the Zero Point was left exposed and became unstable.
In Season X (10) The energy of the Zero Point explodes, morphing time and space. The Visitor returns to the island as an alternate version of himself called The Scientist. The Scientist spends Season X constructing Rift Beacons and a new rocket. Chapter 1 comes to a close as multiple rockets, and a meteorite from different dimensions all hurl toward the Zero Point. A black hole sucks everything in, and we are left with nothing until Chapter 2.
We begin Chapter 2 by emerging out of the black hole onto a new island. So far, the events of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 have been unrelated. Chapter 2 has focused on a war waged between the factions of Ghost and Shadow.
The History of Fortnite Crossovers
Fortnite is no stranger to crossovers. The game has become known for its elaborate crossovers between different mediums. Fortnite x John Wick, Borderlands, NFL, Stranger Things, and Jordan are a few of the "smaller" crossovers we've seen. As Fortnite's popularity has grown, it's also had the opportunity of collabing with major franchises such as DC, Star Wars, and Marvel. Along with the franchises, Fortnite has partnered with individual celebrities such as Marshmallow and Travis Scott.
This level of collaboration was unheard of prior to Fortnite. The legalities behind licensing make it difficult to reel in a major partner like Marvel. Fortnite's massive success has allowed it to pull off these unprecedented partnerships.
We went from having a fake superhero-themed season in Chapter 1 - Season 4 to having fully-fledged Marvel heroes and villains ten seasons later. Carbine and Omega can't compete with Wolverine, Thor, and Iron Man.
So What's The Problem?
There's no denying that a Marvel-themed season sounds amazing on the surface. However, many in the Fortnite community believe that the crossovers have become too intrusive.
Every season there has been a new theme and a new Battle Pass. The community looks forward to discovering each season's secrets and how the different themes related to the ongoing development of the story. The crossovers have always fit in without disruption - until now.
Chapter 2 - Season 4 is entirely based around this Marvel Crossover. Every single Battle Pass cosmetic item is related to the Marvel theme. The POIs, the Mythic items - all Marvel.
Many in the community feel like this directly impacts the story they've spent 13 seasons invested in. The first three seasons of Chapter 2 were spent focused on the war between Ghost and Shadow. Now, that appears to have been completely tossed aside to make room for this "advertisement" of a season.
All of the previous crossovers were relegated to Limited-Time Modes (LTMs) or had little to no effect on the story or Battle Pass. Fortnite x Borderlands involved a new POI and a few Item Shop skins. Fortnite x Jordan was relegated exclusively to Creative Mode where it wouldn't interfere with the battle royale game. Even Star Wars, a massive franchise, followed this pattern. The Rise of the Skywalker in-game event was an LTM. The addition of Storm Troopers around the map and wieldable lightsabers was pushing it, but it was only for a limited time; not an entire season.
These fun but insignificant crossovers have become more and more intrusive in recent seasons. Every Battle Pass used to have a "secret" skin related to the story. We unlocked The Visitor, The Prisoner, and Singularity as playable skins. Nowadays, the secret Battle Pass skin is treated as a way to toss in another collab. The past two seasons have included Deadpool and Aquaman as the secret skin.
Burnout from the relentless crossovers makes all of this even worse. Early on, crossovers were new and rare. It was exciting to see Fortnite partner with these mega-media franchises to bring us new skins and live events. But as most things eventually do, it got old. The community is used to crossovers by now. Some of them just want the traditional Fortnite experience back.
The Connection Between the Fortnite and Marvel Universes
In reality, Chapter 2 - Season 4 might not deviate from the story as much as players may assume on the surface.
In the Marvel universe, the Black Winter entity threatens life as we know it. The supervillain, Galactus, discovers the existence of five special planets that, when consumed, would give him the power to defeat the Black Winter.
While in pursuit of these planets, Galactus stumbles into a rift that drops him into the world of Fortnite. This is where the Marvel and Fortnite stories collide. Galactus is drawn to the power of the Zero Point. It is too powerful to ignore, and Galactus decides that he must claim it for his own. This aligns with the original Fortnite story. Everyone desires the Zero Point's power. The Ice King, The Prisoner, and now, Galactus.
When the superhero Thor learns of Galactus's plans, he follows him through the rift with the intent of warning the Fortnite world's inhabitants. Thor summons the Marvel team to aid him in defeating Galactus and saving the Fortnite universe.
This transition is an impressive way of connecting the two universes. Nevertheless, it does not excuse the complete takeover of the game. Players that aren’t fans of Marvel or superheroes are hung out to dry. In the past, players could choose to avoid the crossovers. Now, there is no escaping for players that desire the “normal” Fortnite experience.
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Images via Epic Games