Fortnite removed its popular NFL-themed skins just four days after releasing them, and no one is entirely sure why.
Fortnite has quickly become so popular that everyone wants a piece of the action. At last count, the battle royale version of the game had 8.3 million concurrent players worldwide. A pretty incredible statistic. Fortnite's reach is becoming so vast that it cannot be confined to the video gaming world alone.
That's why we have seen aspects of the game popping up all over the place. A Fortnite-themed Monopoly board is now available. Hasbro is releasing nerf guns inspired by weapons from Fortnite in 2019. You'll also see dances and celebrations from the game in almost every professional sport. Fortnite has become extremely popular with athletes in their downtime.
In fact, the world of sport recently gave back to Fortnite. Earlier this month, players were able to head to Fortnite's online store and purchase any NFL uniform they desired for their avatar to wear. A big deal and one that ran in conjunction with the NFL. Players could even customize their jersey with whatever number they desired. However, just four days after the NFL skins became available, they disappeared.
This is consistent with how we cycle every other skin into the game. No items stay in our store long term.— Nick “Unusual Spending” Chester (@nickchester) November 14, 2018
The reason as to why exactly the skins were removed so quickly is still unclear. However, some players have speculated that there may be some controversy involved, as reported by Fortnite Intel. People had been posting screenshots of their NFL uniform-clad Fortnite characters kneeling with guns in their hands. Quite the political statement, and obviously something Epic Games, Fortnite's developers, want no part of.
Nick Chester of Epic was quick to respond to this speculation. Chester replied to a fan on Twitter explaining that removing skins from the Fortnite store after only a few days isn't that out of the ordinary. Chester stated that "no items stay in our store long term." That is certainly the case, but to remove them after four days seems strange to us. Especially since, considering the popularity of the NFL, the skins will have likely sold well for a long time.