Fortnite, Please Stop Releasing Skins I Want To Buy

With almost two months to spare, I have already reached Level 100 on the current Fortnite battle pass. I am a true gamer, down with the kids, and aware of how to hit the griddy on all my haters – of which there are many. Ever since the addition of Zero Build, this live-service has become a juggernaut I dip into a few times a week to complete my regular quests and challenges before hitting the virtual store and seeing what new spoils tickle my fancy.

I pray my family never uncovers how much money I’ve spent on Fortnite. It probably isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things, with the majority of my cosmetic items earned in seasonal battle passes and as part of free bundles and promotions. Yet for every Meow Skulls variant is a Master Chief or Ariana Grande, pop culture icons that mock me for daring to throw pennies for the joy of randomly controlling them every once in a while. This game is the master of FOMO, the unpredictability of each new skin pulling me in when it feels like I’ve finally managed to let go. Who am I kidding? I live for this shit.

To the displeasure of my colleagues, I talked about the thrilling potential of John Cena being added to Fortnite for months. But never did I think it would actually happen, until one fateful day when I was in line at the coffee shop and checked my phone. All of a sudden the news team was sharing a tweet from Epic Games. It was simple and to the point, letting us know that the Man Who Cannot Be Seen was coming to the biggest game on the planet. Please make room on the Battle Bus for the Doctor of Thuganomics, or he'll deck your candy ass.

Last week I bought a sexy knight bundle because I was simping for her, and the week before that I couldn’t resist picking up a cute snowboarder I’d never heard of thanks to her fabulous outfit. Now Isaac Clarke from Dead Space has rocked up, except his bundle is a bit different from usual offerings. Coming in at £10, the bundle includes Isaac Clarke himself, a plasma cutter pickaxe, bench emote, and a set of challenges that will result in 1,500 V-Bucks once you complete them all. In essence, a way to earn back the money you spent getting him in the first place. It’s a more involved skin, likely to promote the upcoming remake. He is more than a sad engineer with a ghost girlfriend destined to sit in my inventory forever. Now I have a reason to jump into Fortnite for a few cheeky sessions and make use of him.

Fortnite has mastered the art of optional cosmetics, nailing its own charming aesthetic while combining it with a cultural relevance that nobody else in any medium is able to match. We have long past the point of no return, and if a character happens to exist and maintain a level of constant popularity in our current zeitgeist, chances are it will appear in the game sooner or later. It doesn’t matter if they’re fictional or real, that line has long been blurred.

There is a beautiful absurdity to Fortnite and how it slowly has become an incomprehensible metaverse with mass appeal. At least right now, there is no stopping it, and the way it keeps on pioneering new interactive ways to interact with music, imagery, and other people amidst a level playing field is continually jaw dropping. Having lobbies filled with recognisable faces is a part of that success, creating conversation around our favourite characters and a desire to own them for ourselves.

I bought a lifetime pass to its shenanigans long ago, picking up skins and quickly seeing the draw of being my favourite fictional lesbians and sad space boys in an unknown yet equally fascinating environment. But please, for the sake of my wallet, kindly stop dropping bangers out of nowhere. I have cats to feed.

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