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Epic Games Still Wants Nintendo Characters in Fortnite

From Star Wars to Naruto, Epic Games has managed to nab all kinds of brand crossovers for its skins and characters - and it still hasn't counted out going for Nintendo.


Sax Persson, Epic's head of ecosystem in Fortnite, recently told
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how difficult their attempts have been to add Mario, Princess Peach, Donkey Kong, Link, Zelda, Samus, and other characters from the Nintendo universe to Fortnite's ever-expanding roster of skins and avatars. He explained that Epic's efforts to convince Nintendo to allow the company to insert Mario and the gang into Fortnite have gone nowhere.

"I don't know what the word for, like, making diamonds is," Persson said. "Nintendo has their strategy and we have our strategy, and we hope at some point [to use their characters]. Our players would love it."


Over the years, Fortnite has managed to secure characters from across the gaming and entertainment industries, including Master Chief from Halo, Kratos from God of War, Indiana Jones, John Wick, Spider-Man, Rick from Rick and Morty, and more recently
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. The game has also gotten skins based on celebrities, including tennis player Naomi Osaka, Olympic snowboarder and gold medalist Chloe Kim, singer Ariana Grande, and
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.

During The Game Awards, Epic Games
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as a direct result from the company's partnership with LEGO.

So why has Nintendo not budged on allowing its characters in the metaverse game? Speculation has largely swirled around the fact that Fortnite is a multiplatform game allowing, for example, PlayStation character Kratos to run around on Xbox consoles. It's possible that Nintendo doesn't want the same deal for its beloved characters.

Kit Ellis, a former Nintendo public relations managers who's since left the company, offered a pretty straightforward explanation
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as well: "They don't need Fortnite. They're bigger than Fortnite. The stuff that they do is bigger than Fortnite."

"They've spent decades building up these characters, building up this IP to the point where it is now where The Mario Movie can be a billion dollars and Nintendo Switch is the best-selling console," Ellis said. "...They can just be one of a other dozen characters that all play the same, put into a game that's all about shooting people and is so against their brand? It makes no sense... This isn't gonna happen."

Still, while the prospects look dim, it's at least clear that Epic hasn't given up on it.


Cristina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love for Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal. Follow her on Twitter @SonicPrincess15.

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