The most popular video game in the world teams up with the most popular sport in the United States. The goal? Make unimaginable amounts of money.
NFL players in recent seasons have been mimicking “Fortnite” dances and other animations in the end zone, like Colts tight end Eric Ebron being “downed and revived” by his squad mates before they do a celebratory dance. Now, Fortnite is returning the appreciation with NFL-themed skins for all 32 teams, available in the game’s item shop this Friday at 7 p.m. Eastern.
“We see the popularity of Fortnite every day at the NFL as many of our players are passionate about this game,” Brian Rolapp, the NFL’s chief media and business officer, said in a statement. “This partnership represents a great opportunity for millions of NFL fans who are Fortnite players to express their fandom inside the game while at the same time exposing our brand to countless others.”
Heads up: This doesn’t mean a new NFL-themed item shop is opening up in “Fortnite.” The NFL skins will work like any other skin in the roulette of the item shop, said an Epic Games spokesman. The game’s item shop refreshes every day to circulate new skins, dances and items for players to buy. That means some skins have become “rare” due to developer Epic Games not circulating the skin enough times.
Epic Games can’t also confirm how long the NFL skins will be available or whether they would even return after Friday’s release.
The NFL uniforms will be purchased just like any other “Fortnite” skin, with the game’s currency, called V-bucks, which can be both earned through game play and purchased directly. For example, 500 V-bucks will cost you $4.99. Many of the game’s most-coveted skins cost between $12 and $15 worth of V-bucks. And thus, that’s how Epic Games can reportedly rake in $318 million in a single month, despite the fact that “Fortnite” is a free game.
This is only the latest in the NFL’s long embrace of the massively popular game, which boasts 78.3 million monthly players. It also comes in stark contrast to the NHL’s open fretting that the game is a “major distraction” for its players.
In a May blog post, the NFL celebrated “why Fortnite conquered NFL locker rooms.”
In addition to the uniforms, there will be football-themed emotes, harvesting tools, gliders and a referee outfit.
This isn’t the first professional sports pairing with “Fortnite.” This summer, the game celebrated the World Cup soccer tournament with new skins and other cosmetic items. Each World Cup soccer skin cost 1,200 V-bucks ($12). The World Cup skins were available for a very limited time.
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