After pledging to improve the offering within its pricy £9.99-a-month Fortnite Crew subscription, Epic Games has now announced an eye-catching new skin for February and wrapped it up in the game's ongoing lore.
February's members-only character is Vi, a member of the Fox Clan - Fortnite's new name for its various Kitsune mask-wearing characters such as OG season five mascot and fan-favourite Drift.
Vi's set includes the usual character skin, back bling and pickaxe, now all with two detailed styles. There's also a wrap (a weapon skin) and a loading screen - new items not included in previous monthly offerings.
Vi's reveal was teased yesterday afternoon via a string of odd social media posts and a faux takeover of the game's official Twitter - all of which was later scrubbed from existence (again, all part of the game's narrative).
"Possible match found///// Drift? Drift. Come in. Do you read me?" Fortnite's Twitter posted yesterday in a series of messages. "I know you don't know who I am, but the Fox Clan is in trouble. We need you. We always thought we were the trackers, but something is tracking US down now. Something old. Something... bad.
"They got everyone. I barely escaped. I'm... I'm the only one left. Whoever gave you that Fox Clan mask made you a target... If we don't work together - team up - they'll come for you next. They're closing in. I need to wipe my tracks, but I hope you got this transmission. If you did, I'll see you soon. I hope. ///Connection terminated."
Previous narrative snippets posted to the Fortnite account have been from the in-game character of Jonesy, who works for the IO Agency. But a subsequent note from IO suggested it was not the sender, or the mysterious evil mentioned. "If more updates about this mysterious Fox Clan are received, we will continue to post and investigate them," another now-deleted message read.
During the Twitter account's takeover, its background was temporarily changed to this image showing Vi alongside previous Fox Clan members Drift and Catalyst. The location here looks a lot like Lucky Landing from Fortnite's old map - which some fans think will be the latest returning location this season:
Of course, all of this is in service of selling Fortnite's £9.99 subscription for another month. Two weeks ago, developer Epic Games acknowledged it had more work to do to "make your subscription an even better experience" after a lukewarm reception to January's Green Arrow tie-in.
The mere suggestion a new Drift-esque skin would be released was enough to excite many fans of the character (Fortnite has additionally released a beachwear version of the character named Summer Drift and, most recently, Snow Drift, an icy variant). Pack in a few extra items and, regardless of whether you think it's worth the asking price, it's certainly a more tempting offering.
At the tail end of another long season, it felt like February's offering needed to be better to keep members subscribed. March, meanwhile, will be a much easier sell as it will bring a new season, whose battle pass will be unlocked to all with Fortnite Crew membership.