Two of the biggest pop culture phenomenons of the moment - Fortnite: Battle Royale and Avengers: Infinity War - have joined forces. Thanos, the Mad Titan, has landed in Fortnite and brought with him his own separate mode. Understandably titled Infinity War, Fortnite’s new mode sees 99 players and a single Thanos duke it out a battle field. The mode is only meant to be around for a limited time. However, Infinity War is so much fun that it should be added to the game on a permanent basis.
There’s no inherent reason that Infinity War and Fortnite should work together so well. Yet, somehow, they do. Thanos and Fortnite are two great tastes that blend into together into one chaotic, beautiful (intentionally) broken mess.
Thanos & Fortnite Are Perfectly (Im)Balanced
The brilliance of Infinity War in Fortnite is that it doesn’t require any knowledge of the movie, or really any part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to be enjoyed. Thanos is just a fun and powerful new character to play. Fortnite's gameplay loop has always been appropriately addictive, as have most Battle Royale titles, and Epic Games has wisely managed the game's community. Even with the near constant evolution of the game Thanos is something special.
From the second a round of Infinity War starts in Fortnite, the specter of Thanos looms large over the entire game. The Infinity Gauntlet, which allows players to transform into Thanos, appears under a large (and loud) beam of light. Once the gauntlet is activated, Thanos appears and his health bar and position on the map is constantly displayed. Thanos turns Fortnite into a very colorful horror movie as the game never lets players forget that Thanos is out in the field and needs to be taken down.
It's definitely possible to kill Thanos, too. Fortnite has balanced Thanos' powers quite well. He's powerful enough so that acquiring him feels like a real accomplishment, but if a Fortnite player does things just right, they can take him down rather easily. Adding this literal Titan to the game adds a whole new dimension to Fortnite that wouldn't be normally there. Thanos fundamentally changes the game but also keeps the traditional excitement and atmosphere going. The crossover takes elements of what makes both properties great - the menace of Thanos and the fun of Fortnite - and rolls them up into one package.
The Future of Fortnite and Cross-Promotion
It's unknown how much money is being exchanged behind-the-scenes in order to make the crossover happen. There are all kinds of licensing deals that have to be worked out for Thanos to appear in the game - and stay there. The MCU might've made Thanos into a household name but Fortnite isn't his first appearance in a game. Thanos has appeared in the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise for years, including the disappointing Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite.
It could very well be a logistical nightmare for Fortnite to keep Thanos in the game for the foreseeable future. However, Epic and Marvel have created something so special that it would be a shame for the mode to only last for a limited time. If Fortnite can't keep Thanos, they should at least use this as a basis for a separate mode with an original overpowered character or as a pitch for future cross-promotions.
There's nothing stopping Fortnite from using the Infinity War crossover as an example of what they can do with other properties. They can even go to DC Comics and cross-promote with the DCEU. If Fortnite players don't want a mode that allows them to transform into Wonder Woman and lay waste to the battlefield, they're lying to themselves. Fortnite could even embrace the horror movie feel of Thanos further. A classic movie monster could be used as the new starring character for a mode, maybe even around Halloween as special holiday event. Whatever happens, Fortnite: Battle Royale shouldn't just allow the new mode and/or Thanos to quietly fade into ashes like so many heroes in Avengers: Infinity War.