Epic Games is trying its best to add several Nintendo characters, including Mario and Link, to its popular battle royale game, Fortnite. However, all the company has gotten so far is the cold shoulder from Nintendo as negotiations have seemingly gone nowhere. As it stands, several big gaming companies including PlayStation and Xbox have featured its characters such as Kratos and Master Chief in the game, though we have yet to see Bowser do the Floss.
Epic’s head of ecosystem in Fortnite, Sax Persson, spoke to Axios recently about the potential of adding some beloved Nintendo characters to Fortnite. Persson spoke about the difficulties negotiating with Nintendo to add characters like Mario, Princess Peach, Donkey Kong, Link, Zelda, Samus, Luigi and other characters owned by the company to the battle royale game as skins and avatars. All efforts have gone nowhere.
“I don’t know what the word for, like, making diamonds is,” said Persson. “Nintendo has their strategy and we have our strategy, and we hope at some point [to use their characters]. Our players would love it.”
There are probably some creative legalities holding the deal back from ever happening. Perhaps it’s not in Nintendo’s best interest to see Mario running around with a sniper rifle and shotgun. Fortnite cleverly got around this by calling new characters “skins” for blank avatars as opposed to being the actual characters from other IPs, though that might not be enough to convince Nintendo to play ball.
2023 was a very successful year for Fortnite, seeing the player count skyrocket when it launched the OG Map earlier this year. Additionally, Fortnite also recently added a LEGO mode that allows players to craft and build creations without resorting to violence. Over 1200 skins have now been converted into LEGO form with several more on the way in future updates.
Despite Fortnite‘s success, Epic Games still laid off around 900 employees back in September as job cuts hit the company – a recurring problem this year that, according to estimates, saw about 9,000 jobs lost in the industry in 2023 alone.