there’s only so much Season 9 left at this point. The ramp-up to Fortnite’s Stranger Things tie-in has begun in earnest, a few weeks after a suspicious themed ice cream store showed up in the new Mega Mall POI. Mega Mall is where you’ll find these new teases as well: portals have begun showing up inside of the shopping destination that are pretty hard to miss: all tentacley and angry. Fans of Stranger Things will recognize them immediately as passage to the Upside Down:
Stranger Things Season 3 comes out tomorrow, so we can expect an event to start around then, either Thursday or Friday, with an official announcement likely coming soon. I’m interested to see just what the team ends up doing this one: the recent Air Jordan event took place off the island in Creative Mode, but the appearance of these portals suggest that we’ll stay on the regular map for this one. The ideal mode for me would be a kind of asymmetrical PvP, with one player controlling the Demogorgon and the rest of them trying to take it down by running through the cramped confines of Mega Mall. True PvE wouldn’t be out of the question either, but we’re still somewhat short on that inside of battle royale.
Fortnite has really doubled down on sponsored events in recent months, moving from a sort of ancillary, occasional treat to a core part of the game going forward. Things started slow, with the NFL, DJ Marshmello and The Avengers, but we’ve now added John Wick, Air Jordan and now Stranger Things to a growing list of brands selling themselves in Fortnite in some way, shape or form. Say what you want about it, but it’s a handy way for the game to maintain cultural relevance even as it stops being the absolute hottest thing in the world.
Stranger Things is not quite as perfect a mashup as John Wick or The Avengers, but then again, neither was Air Jordan. I’ll be curious to see how this trend develops as we move into next season: there’s no shortage of new stuff to promote, and Fortnite is here to take advantage.