Epic Games has come under fire after the developer released an oddly familiar cosmetic item on Fortnite's store. Players are able to purchase equipable cosmetic items and skins with V-Bucks, the game's currency. The selection of cosmetics is ever-changing with new additions being added daily.
As the biggest game on the planet, Fortnite has come under fire for cosmetics before. The iconic dance emotes in Fortnite faced legal trouble when a handful of celebrities and Internet personalities claimed they created said dances. Thankfully, for Epic, many of those lawsuits were eventually dropped. Even the company behind the battle royale title PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds tried to sue Epic Games during Fortnite's boom in popularity in 2018 as the two games competed for the same market.
In a report from Game Informer, many players in Reddit's Fortnite community noticed that one of the game's newest cosmetics was nearly a carbon copy of another in-game cosmetic that launched in the season 6 battle pass. The item in question comes in the form of a wearable dog backpack named Gunner. A comparison image was put together showing another dog, named Bonesy, and it really just speaks for itself. Epic Games acted quickly, releasing a statement and removing the item from the in-game store.
"We should not have released the Gunner Pet and apologise for doing so. Within the next couple of days, all purchases of Gunner will be refunded for the full amount of 1000 V-bucks as well as an additional 200 V-bucks and the Pet will be removed from the Locker. Anyone who purchased Gunner and refunds it prior to this make-good will instead receive 200 V-bucks and an additional refund token that can be put towards any eligible items that were purchased within the past 30 days."
Because Fortnite releases hundreds of new items alongside updates and promotions, the mistake probably went unnoticed initially. Gunner was sold as a separate item outside of the battle pass for 1,000 V-Bucks or $10. Thankfully, Epic Games is responding well to the incident and the criticisms that have come because of it. Players will now get some extra V-Bucks back if they had already purchased the item and can put that newfound currency towards something more original this time.
Although Epic Games is massive, it seems a bit ridiculous that this problem went under the radar. Developers on Fortnite have reportedly suffered through a lot of crunch with the game's massive updates on a daily basis. While this issue is unlikely to occur again anytime soon, it was probably the result of the dozens of items that are added into Fortnite daily and the designs that come with each individual one.
Source: Game Informer