Earlier this morning, Epic announced that it would be introducing the “Icon” series of skins to its massively popular battle royale game Fortnite. First up for the digital treatment is famous streamer Ninja. Known for his expert skills at Epic’s shooter (along with other, less savory, talents), the skin will be a paid addition that gamers can purchase to look like their favorite internet personality.
You’ll be able to grab the skin starting tomorrow, January 16, at 7:00 pm EST. Along with the outfit, players will get the “Ninja’s Edge Back Bling,” a “Ninja Style Emote,” and some dual katanas for their pickaxe. The streamer is currently showing off the skin on stream, though you can catch a short clip he uploaded to YouTube to promote the Icon series.
If you thought Ninja would be the only icon getting the Fortnite treatment, think again! In the post announcing Ninja’s inclusion, Epic confirmed that other popular streamers would also be getting skins in its game. The only others mentioned include Loserfruit and TheGrefg, but the blog states that other popular celebrities from gaming, Hollywood, and the music industry would be added.
Most people might balk at Ninja getting the spotlight, but it is hard to deny the impact his presence has had on Fortnite. The game was popular, to begin with, but streamers have elevated the title to become a part of the cultural zeitgeist. If not for the constant exposure that Twitch and Mixer gave to Fortnite, it would have never been included in Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame as a gag. Maybe there are other industry icons that should have gotten the treatment first, but this is a good move on Epic’s part to celebrate the people that are making its game popular.
We can only hope that Epic doesn’t start shoving in celebrities that have next to nothing to do with the game. One of the worst trends in modern gaming is publishers making grabs for celebrities at the expense of voice actors. The reason is usually to boast about Hollywood talent so you can increase sales. This has led to situations like Keifer Sutherland barely being present in Metal Gear Solid V and Ronda Rousey doing a horrible job in Mortal Kombat 11.
Fortnite isn’t about acting, though, so maybe those skins will go over better.
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