At this point, Fortnite is about as mainstream as a video game could get. While the slightly addicting nature of its battle royale format and its cartoon-style are mostly to blame, the intersections between Fortnite and other elements of popular culture have certainly helped propel the Epic Games hit into the forefront of the public conscious.
To be sure, we’re taking a look back at the top mainstream crossover moments Fortnite has enjoyed below.
20 Times Fortnite Enjoyed Mainstream Crossover Appeal
The John Wick Skin
It started with a parody skin of the beloved dog-avenging character called The Reaper, which was colloquially referred to as the John Wick skin. Epic then decided to actually release an official John Wick skin called, well, John Wick.
deadmau5 streams Fortnite
DrLupo, a top Fortnite streamer, played Squads with deadmau5 back in 2018 when the Fortnite peak first hit. We’re not sure who needs to know this, but we learned that day that the Canadian DJ’s Fortnite name is derpmau5.
The Avengers Crossover
Epic and Marvel teamed up in 2019 to provide a new game mode inspired by the release of Avengers: Endgame. What better way to relieve stress is there than taking out your aggression on Thanos and his minions? We’re not sure either.
Prince Harry Calls for a Fortnite Ban
Ok, so while this happening wasn’t a glowing support of Fortnite to say the least, attention from a member of arguably the most famous royal family is about as mainstream as you can get. The Duke of Sussex called out the game for being addictive in 2019, and, perhaps needless to say: Fortnite does not seem to be getting banned anytime soon, which could make this a great example of the saying that any publicity is good publicity.
Fortnite’s NFL Skins
In celebration of the Super Bowl, Epic Games released the 32 NFL teams’ uniform skins for players to enjoy. To top it all off, the release of the skins coincided with a charity event featuring duos of football and Fortnite pros.
Star Wars Crossover
Fortnite’s crossover with arguably the most famous franchise of all time seems like a no-brainer for this list. It started with a Stormtrooper skin release and then Epic helped grow the hype for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker with additional character skins and even a Star Wars emote, among other additions.
Of course, one of the most iconic brands of all time had to have its own Fortnite moment. This particular partnership resulted in Air Jordan skins coming to the battle royale game, so players can truly game in style. A new game mode called Downtown Drop was also released with the skins.
Ninja and Drake Stream Fortnite
Ninja feels almost synonymous with Fortnite itself, but the streamer may have truly cemented his top standing when he streamed with Drake in 2018. While the rapper didn’t appear on camera for the stream, he did voice chat with Ninja while playing Duos to the amusement of viewers.
Ellen DeGeneres Plays Fortnite with Ninja
Ok, it’s pretty much inevitable that streamer Ninja will appear multiple times on this list. Especially since his appearance on Ellen ensured that even your mom is now familiar with the basics of the battle royale. Ellen even returned the favor by appearing on Ninja's stream.
Marvel Skins Come to Fortnite
Why play as a generic character when you can play as Black Widow, Star-Lord, or Deadpool thanks to some nifty skins? We don’t have a good answer either.
DC Skins Come to Fortnite
The answer to the last entry might just be that you’re more of a DC fan. Fortnite crossed over with the Batman franchise when it added the Dark Knight skin and also had a Harley Quinn skin for a limited time.
Ralph Breaks The Internet Cameo
In the Disney followup to Wreck it Ralph, Fortnite makes a cameo in the form of the titular character “flossing” but you can also catch a glimpse of the Battle Bus if you are alert.
BTS Does the Fortnite Dance Challenge
In a Jimmy Fallon appearance, the Korean superstars danced their way through the most popular Fortnite dance emotes along with the host. The challenge culminated in a group rendition of the Floss, because of course it did.
Fortnite Dances Based on Famous Moves
Speaking of Fortnite dances, a number of them have been clear references (and plenty would argue outright copies) of iconic dances known far wider than the gaming world. The Carlton dance made famous in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air originally performed by Alfonso Ribeiro is probably the most recognizable (and the emote was even titled “Fresh”). While this particular trend landed Epic in some hot water with lawsuits from Ribeiro and others, it likely drew in some new and curious fans as well.
Plus, the visibility of Fortnite has even increased from its dances appearing in traditional sports.
The Fortnite World Cup
While Kyle Giersdorf is by no means a known name, the 16-year-old’s $3 million win from the Fortnite World Cup in 2019 ensured the game would stay in the mainstream eye for some time. Who knows? It may have even resulted in some parents loosening up their screen time limits in hopes that their kid could be the next big winner.
The Marshmello Concert
Back in 2019, DJ and EDM artist Marshmello performed a concert via a virtual stage in Fortnite. The performer’s movements were replicated via motion capture and the concert was livened up with in-game events, including players being hit with zero-gravity. Over 10 million players enjoyed hits like Happier in the Fortnite map’s Pleasant Park for the event.
The Stranger Things Crossover
Is there anything more in the public eye than a Netflix hit everyone is simultaneously binging? Just ahead of season 3 of Stranger Things, Epic released Fortnite skins of the Demogorgon and Chief Hopper to capitalize on the buzz.
The Fortnite Pro-AM Tournament
This event in 2018 had celebs from the streaming world and the mainstream competing to donate millions to the charity of their choice, including unexpected participants like actor Joel McHale and musician Brendon Urie. Marshmello and Ninja ended up winning, because of course they did.
Jimmy Kimmel’s Fortnite YouTube Challenge
Kimmel’s late night show spawned a viral video on the heels of Fortnite mania. In what would become a popular internet challenge, Kimmel asked parents to turn off the TV in the middle of their kids’ Fortnite matches. There are plenty of videos inspired by the challenge all over YouTube, but you can watch the original video here.
The Travis Scott Performance
The Travis Scott Astronomical Event in Fortnite may or may not have brought new fans to the game and to the rapper, but it absolutely changed our perception of what a virtual performance can look (and feel) like.
It started with a massive version of Scott performing his hits on the Fortnite map and then kept upping the ante to transition into beats that were downright trippy, from the entire screen turning to swirling lights and over 12 million players being flung through space for the finale throughout the multiple showtimes. Of course, the event was a success not only for Fortnite, but also increased the visibility of Scott himself.