A treasure trove of confidential Fortnite information has come to light as part of the Epic Games and Apple trial, revealing an unprecedented level of detail on cancelled or postponed events, collaborations and in-game modes.
One particularly-revealing document dating from June 2020 looks ahead to Fortnite's now-concluded bounty hunter season, which ran from December 2020 to March this year, and reveals it was once planned to include Nintendo's Samus alongside Xbox's Master Chief and PlayStation's Kratos.
Many fans had wondered whether Nintendo would join in Fortnite's new series of Gaming Legends characters, which now also includes Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn, Ryu and Chun-Li from Street Fighter, as well as Lara Croft. Epic's documents suggest this was indeed the plan, as of last summer, but do not detail what happened next.
Other planned characters due to appear in the bounty hunter season included Naruto Uzumaki, Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games, The Bride from Kill Bill, Snake Plissken from Escape from New York and John McClane from Die Hard. None of these ultimately saw the light of day, though plenty of others did instead.
Fortnite's plans for its hangout mode Party Royale are also detailed. As of last June, the schedule was set for J Balvin to perform in September, with Ariana Grande due in October and Lady Gaga in December.
In reality, J Balvin ended up playing at the end of October, as part of a special Halloween concert. Performances by Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga are yet to materialise.
How much of this is still on the cards, and how much has been scrapped for one reason or another? Could we still see Samus someday? We've asked Nintendo and Epic for more, though it seems unlikely we'll get much more of a peek behind the scenes than we've seen already.
It's interesting, though to look at plans for upcoming skins and emotes to see how content has in some cases simply taken longer to appear.
In June last year, Epic's plan was for footballer Neymar Jr. to become a skin in September 2020, followed by streamer Grefg in October, Marvel's Black Widow and NFL outfits both in November, plus a LeBron outfit and NBA skins in December. Streamer Lazarbeam and The Rock were listed for December and Q1 2021 respectively.
In reality, Neymar Jr. turned up last month as part of the current battle pass, while Grefg launched in January and Lazarbeam arrived in March. Black Widow and NFL skins launched on time. Whispers suggest LeBron and the NBA skins are still on their way. And as for The Rock, fans think we have seen him in-game, though playing a different character.
Planned emotes for 2020 included an officially-licensed Gangam Style dance (which eventually released in late January this year) and one based on Beyonce's Single Ladies (which is yet to be released).
So, as you might expect, plans have changed - with some things just arriving later. Perhaps there's still hope for Lady Gaga yet?
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