Epic Games' mega-popular battle royale game Fortnite will be receiving a pirate theme for its upcoming season 8. Since it first launched separate from the base Fortnite experience, Save the World mode, Fortnite: Battle Royale has structured itself into seasons. Each season comes with its own overarching theme and sometimes a vague story imposed on the battle royale madness. Mostly, though, the seasons are delivery vehicles for new items added to the game. Some of these additions are cosmetic changes offered through the game's season specific battle pass and others, like planes or the Infinity Blade, are added for everyone who downloads the free-to-play game.
The current Fortnite season has reflected the real-time world in which it launched. As season 7 began in early December, everything on Fortnite's map was given a winter theme. After one event at the midpoint in the season, the entire map was even covered in snow with things only slowly moving back to a more normal and green looking climate. Season 8 however will upend Fortnite once again with a decidedly nautical theme even though there are few bodies of water existing in the current game map.
The teases of Fortnite season 8's theme have come from the battle royale's own Twitter account. Beginning on Feb. 24, Epic Games began revealing the pirate disposition of season 8 with cryptic teaser images and text that have serious pirate connotations like "'X' marks the spot" and claiming that someone will "arrive on waves."
On its face, the pirate association isn't too out of character for Fortnite. Although the primary weapons of Fortnite: Battle Royale are relatively modern guns and likewise projectiles, the game has never let one time period or aesthetic tie them down. Fortnite season 6 added time and space traveling rifts that brought a multitude of objects from anachronistic times and even season 7 had a vaguely medieval, Game of Thrones-esque look to it. The issue with Fortnite season 8 going with a pirate theme is that the game lacks one of the key elements of many pirate stories: the open seas.
There are a few small bodies of water in Fortnite, but like most battle royale games, it takes place on an isolated island. The water in Fortnite is much more like lakes or puddles than anything a pirate would sail upon. There are obviously seas around the island, but they're not able to be explored by the average gamer. Of course it's possible for the game to explain away the pirates by revealing that they arrived from the surrounding ocean and are looking to dominate the island with the elusive victory royale. It's equally possible that Fortnite's one and only map will undergo some serious changes to more naturally fit with the invading pirates.
During the last few weeks of season 7, Fortnite players have noticed earthquakes and large cracks appearing in the earth. It's become a tradition for Fortnite to introduce clues to the upcoming season in the waning days of the previous one. Many have theorized that these earthquakes are signposts to season 8. Perhaps season 8 will begin with these earthquakes creating a massive water feature somewhere on Fortnite's map and an appropriate water themed vehicle like a mini pirate ship to go with them. Fortnite could also just throw all logic to the wind and have the pirates emerge from inside the earth's crust.
Fortnite: Battle Royale season 8 will launch on Thursday, February 28 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC and mobile.
Source: Epic Games