If there’s one thing I think of when I hear the name Fortnite, it’s the seemingly never-ending flow of brand deals and collabs they’ve managed to maintain. Since 2018 there have been well over 150+ brand crossovers, and while the vast majority of them are major IP crossovers (Marvel, Star Wars, DC to name a few,) there are a few that are just plain… odd.
Now, that’s not to say these crossovers are bad, but rather, they feel a little out of place. In a vast world of multi-million dollar pop culture mammoths, I’ve looked across the entire history of the game, and these are (in my opinion) the 7 most bizarre Fortnite crossovers, ranked.
Bad Boys for Life
Fortnite is no stranger to film integrations, but usually their movies of choice are your standard child-friendly fare. That is, except for their collab with Sony Pictures’ 2020 flick Bad Boys for Life (well, that and one other movie on this list…) For those unaware, Bad Boys for Life is the extremely R-Rated sequel to the hit 1995 action-comedy Bad Boys starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, the former actor being this crossover’s big addition.
Now, I’m all for a good celebrity Fortnite skin, but the idea of integrating an R-Rated 90’s IP into a game whose player age demographics are mostly people under 25 years old absolutely reeks of a board room table where a group of corporate big wigs sat around, going “Hey, you think we could we get Will Smith?” with dollar signs in their eyes. It all comes off as out of place, nothing more than executives reaching for the heights they hit when they released the John Wick skin all those years ago.
March Through Time
March Through Time was a limited event in collaboration with TIME Magazine which started in August 2021. The event placed players in Washington D.C. at a memorial of sorts for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event was started as a way to open the conversation about civil rights to younger audiences, but while that sounds great in theory, and we absolutely should be finding new ways to engage these conversations with kids, the opening days were a mess, to say the least.
While most people were very respectful, many people noticed that any emote could be played at any point in the event, meaning those with horrible intentions had an easy and effective way to disrupt the presentation with skins and emotes that ranged anywhere from annoying to downright offensive. This event was great in theory, but the execution was not fully thought out, making this an unfortunate mark on Epic Games’ history.
If you were to ask me what band I’d expect to make it to Fortnite, truly the last group I would ever suggest is Radiohead, and yet, here we are. In 2021 the band celebrated the release of their compilation album, Kid A Mnesia, which combined 2 of their best records as well as unreleased recordings from those sessions. Before the album was announced, they had planned on making an art exhibition, but due to logistics complications and the Covid-19 Pandemic, they scrapped the in-person exhbit and instead opted for a digital experience.
In collaboration with Epic Games, the band built an interactive museum of sorts, with both visuals and soundscapes pulled from Kid A Mnesia. The game itself was a hit, and to commemorate the launch, players who logged into Fortnite after opening the Kid A Mnesia: Exhibition app through the Epic Launcher were greeted with a new menu music disc added to their inventory.
The track itself is “Untitled v1,” an eerie synth piece from the previously unreleased works brought to light by the compilation album, and makes for a very unique (…if not slightly unsettling) menu soundtrack.
Check it out here:
Unlike the previous entries on this list, what makes this pick so weird isn’t the crossover additions themselves, but instead, the bizarre and somewhat predatory history between Epic Games and Among Us developer Innersloth. For those unaware, back in August 2021, Epic Games announced a brand new game mode would be added to the game. This game mode bore a striking resemblance to the most popular game of 2021, you guessed it, Among Us. Everything from the game’s core mechanics, down to the specific terminology to describe roles and actions in-game were ripped straight from Among Us.
The most egregious part? Epic Games didn’t initially give any credit to the team at small indie development team at Innersloth, whose work they’d so clearly stolen beat for beat. Many team members expressed their frustrations on Twitter, causing a massive backlash against Epic Games. However, they were eventually given credit, shortly after which the developer teased a possible collaboration with Innersloth. The whole ordeal was extremely messy, but time heals all, and just a few months the Among Us x Fortnite crossover was born, with a new backbling to boot.
This tale begins where most great stories begin, a 35-million-dollar acquisition. Houseparty was a video chatting app that specialized in open chatrooms, allowing you to host rooms for your friends to drop in on. The functionality was not too dissimilar to Discord’s server voice chats, which I don’t doubt made it all the more enticing for Epic Games.
On June 12th, 2019, as soon as the acquisition went through, their first order of business was simple: go Fortnite mode. Literally, that is. Epic announced it would be integrating the app’s video chat features into the game through the Houseparty app on mobile devices by linking your Houseparty and Fortnite accounts.
Epic posed a Fortnite trivia challenge to all Houseparty users, with the promise that at 20 million correct answers, a new weapon wrap would be sent to all players across the game’s 200 million user base at no extra cost. Naturally, fans hopped on this challenge immediately, quickly hitting the massive milestone, and earning the free weapon wrap for all. Ever wondered where that crisp orange and black “Fryangles” wrap in your inventory came from? Now you know.
You've just blown our minds with your knowledge 🤯
Congrats on 20M right answers in the @Houseparty Fortnite Trivia Deck! Everyone with a Fortnite account today will get the Fryangles Wrap next week with the 12.41 build. https://t.co/olwGRHKzut pic.twitter.com/rO5yhgHlOf
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) April 16, 2020
This acquisition was not the success Epic had hoped it would be, however, as Houseparty would be shut down just 2 years later, with the teams working on the app dissolved and shifted to other areas of Epic’s development team. The game was later scrubbed of all mentions of Houseparty except for the Fryangles wrap itself, meaning millions of players across the world have likely never even heard of this crossover.
Segways have been an iconic choice of transportation for mall cops and tourists across the nation for as long as I can remember. The company’s namesake two-wheel product hit its stride in popularity throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s, but quickly fell out of the public eye as options that were both less expensive and more practical for daily use, such as electric scooters, became more common.
As the Segway company moved forward, it made the tough decision to permanently end its signature transport, but only 9 months later, they entered into a collaboration to have these things added to Fortnite as an emote.
The Segway Tour emote was added to the Chapter 3: Season 2 Battle Pass on March 20th, 2022.
Why use your feet for travel when you could proudly cruise on your glorious @Segway?
Find the Segway Tour Emote in this season’s Battle Pass! pic.twitter.com/ntEsgPzFvB
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) March 24, 2022
The above tweet, which came days after the emote was added, was the only official word from either company on its addition to the game, making this arguably one of the most under-the-radar crossovers in gaming history.
It Chapter Two
In late 2019, players roaming the island noticed ominous red balloons in sewer grates popping up in various locations. When the balloons were popped, the sewers would play a short soundbite of a creepy laugh, pulled directly from Alexander Skarsgård’s performance as Pennywise in 2017’s IT.
IT Chapter Two was just months away and was one of the most anticipated horror films of 2019, one that was sure to dominate at the box office. You may be wondering how a crossover this obvious could make it so high up on my list.
The answer is simple: this crossover was never real.
After these balloons were spotted, the weeks went on and on with no official acknowledgment from any Fortnite or IT: Chapter Two associated accounts. The balloons vanished, and just like that, it was over. No skins, no events, nothing. Fans have speculated on the balloons’ inclusion in the game, with theories ranging anywhere from last-minute brand deal cancellations to legally dubious easter eggs.
If these were really nothing more than an homage, their inclusion so close to the film’s release is oddly misleading, but if it was a collaboration, why the silence? Wouldn’t everyone benefit from more clarity on what to expect from the crossover? Whatever the case, we sadly may never know the truth of what happened here.
Fortnite has been and will almost certainly continue to be an incredible tool for companies to advertise with, and I’ve got a feeling they’ve only just scratched the surface of how weird they’re willing to get with their crossovers.
Are there any crossovers you think should’ve made the list? Let us know!