Coming up on four years online, Fortnite is still going strong. As of 7:45 p.m. Eastern on July 6, there were more than 5.4 million players live in the game. The game’s parent company, Epic Games, has partnered with sports leagues worldwide, including the NFL, NBA, and the English Premier League. But is there any truth to rumors LeBron James will soon be available for players to accessorize their characters?
The game has been popular with athletes, from stars to roster fillers.
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed free-agent quarterback Tom Brady in March 2020, Bucs receiver Mike Evans reacted to the news while playing Fortnite. Some may question why the game is such a big deal but rest assured, it is. The latest rumors have LeBron James being linked to the game, but what is Fortnite?
‘Fortnite’ is a free-for-all that really is free for all
Launched in July 2017, Fortnite is a survival game in a pure Darwinist sense. A group of 100 players lands on an island. The last one left wins. It is a cross-platform game, meaning you can play on your favorite gaming console, your computer, or the mobile device of your choice. There is also a team mode available.
Besides the popular Battle Royale mode, Fortnite can also be enjoyed in Party Royale, Creative, and Save the World modes, according to the Epic Games website.
While players don’t have to spend a nickel to play, there are items players can purchase in-game via the use of Fortnite V-Bucks. The in-game virtual currency has been a hot seller for Epic Games. According to figures submitted in court documents related to Epic’s anti-trust case against Apple, the game brought in $9 billion in revenue from in-game purchases, per IGN.
With that kind of cash rolling in, getting a commitment from a star as big as LeBron James seems possible.
Addressing the LeBron James rumors
GamesRadar reported about a rumor circulating that LeBron James would be coming to Fortnite as the next game skin (basically a costume a player’s character uses) in the game’s Icon Series. According to GamesRadar, the source of the rumor has a strong track record for making accurate claims.
James could be looking for some crossover marketing this summer with the upcoming release of Space Jam 2 on the horizon. Whether that means a LeBron skin would be wearing a Toon Squad uniform or his conventional Lakers gear is not known at this time.
Some of the other skins in the Icon Series include rapper Travis Scott and streaming star Ninja. If James comes aboard, it will be another extension of the game’s NBA crossover. Outfits released earlier in 2021 represent all 30 NBA teams.
Fortnite is a big game, but there are also big stakes
Every game has winners and losers. Fortnite is no different. Kyle Giersdorf, known in-game as “Bugha,” had picked up more than $3.1 million in winnings as of April 26, per Fortnite Intel. There are 12 players with career winnings of more than $1 million.
But just as LeBron James has won championships, he has also lost in the NBA Finals. Former NBA player Kendrick Perkins came out on the wrong end of the Fortnite craze in 2020. Perkins said his kids rang $16,000 in credit-card charges while making in-game purchases. Epic Games does provide tips for parents to help them control in-game purchases by their children.
That’s all well and good, but if you’re not playing the game, the odds of you finding the frequently asked questions on the game’s website aren’t high.
Parents might want to be on the lookout in the coming days because if their kids are basketball or Disney fans, there might be a rush to pick up the new LeBron James skin. That is if the rumors are true.