Fortnite is coming to the real world - sort of - with Hasbro announcing the release of a NERF blaster inspired by the game. Fortnite is, of course, the hugely popular video game that took the world by storm a year ago. Since then, the title has gone from strength to strength, recently entering season 6 and releasing a line of Halloween skins and weaponry. The title has helped to popularize the Battle Royale genre of games, leading to professional players such as Ninja gracing the cover of ESPN magazine.
The game hasn't been without its pitfalls and negativity, however, with the game reportedly provoking divorces. Due to players isolating themselves from their teammates as a result of their fondness for the game, an NHL team even had to institute a Fortnite ban. Despite such examples of drama stemming from the game, its popularity and commercial success have remained steady. As a result, companies have lined up to partner with its creator, Epic Games, to produce a line of affiliated merchandise. Funko recently announced they are releasing a range of Fortnite-themed Pop figures.
Hasbro is now also jumping on the bandwagon. Following the announcement in September that Epic Games and Hasbro are partnering up, the toy and boardgame company has revealed it will be adding a Fortnite-inspired NERF blaster to its range. The toy, called the the NERF Fortnite AR-L Blaster, will be based on the blaster that has proven to be a staple of the game. Aimed at those aged 8 and above, it boasts rapid-fire motorized blasting and flip-up sights that allow players to focus their aim. It will also feature a 10-dart clip and come with 20 ELITE darts. As well as this, Hasbro has revealed that a special, Fortnite edition of Monopoly is also forthcoming. The blaster, however, is set to be priced at just under $50 and will hit stores in June 2019.
There will no doubt be some who view this as a step in the wrong direction, translating a highly competitive and violence-orientated game into the real world. Real-world tragedies are occurring with increasing frequency. As such, there will surely be a vocal backlash that will consider encouraging children to "kill each other" in poor taste, even if it is NERF and mostly make-believe.
From a business point of view, however, it makes all the sense in the world. Fortnite remains one of the most popular games and what better way to capitalize on the popularity than making the game playfully real. Children around the globe will no doubt queue around the block to get their hands on one, just in time for the summer. As for parents, they will probably be glad to see their children potentially out playing in the real world for a change, rather than hunched over their phones and consoles.