With the "Baller," 'Fortnite' Just Took a Cue From 'Jurassic World'

Rolling into a new age.

Epic Games / Universal Pictures

When Fortnite: Battle Royale Season 8 debuted two weeks ago, players were met with the absence of many of the game’s vehicles used to traverse the island, but there’s good news: A giant hamster wheel is on the way.

On Monday, Fortnite’s in-game news menu began teasing something called “The Baller.” The accompanying image looks like a glass orb with one interior seat and some kind of projectile on the front that resembles the Grappler, the handheld grappling device that already looks like a traditional red plunger. “Roll through the competition with the newest vehicle,” the caption reads.

The vehicle looks a lot like the Gyrosphere seen in Jurassic World (it will also make an appearance in Fallen Kingdom).

The last time we got a noteworthy teaser like this was last Monday with Buried Treasure, which went live in the game with the version 8.01 update on Wednesday. We can probably expect a similar schedule for this: It should be released on Wednesday, a day before Week 3 challenges begin.

At the dinosaur theme park, visitors can ride in two-seater glass balls to enjoy close-up guided tours of the island. They’re supposedly safe, but in both the 2016 movie and its sequel, everyone that rides in the balls gets caught in seriously dangerous situations.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom featured one lengthy sequence in which characters ride down the hillside as the island’s volcano erupts. It crashes into the ocean and the characters almost drown.

The Baller should make for an interesting vehicular addition to the game.

Epic Games

The Gyrosphere seems cursed in Jurassic World, but it could be a game-changer for Fortnite. It might also be a hint that the Fortnite volcano could erupt in an event later this season.

Fortnite has always had something of a half-cooked plot to begin with, borrowing elements from disparate sci-fi and fantasy universes. (Seriously, how is Fire King vs. Ice King vs. Pirate King hunting for treasure is the Season 8 theme?) Fortnite themes are less about offering substantive, engaging gameplay, and more about offering a smattering of wacky characters, ideas, and items.

The Baller is just the next iteration of that, but even at that it feels like the most overt instance of Epic Games borrowing a visual element directly out of another universe. (Other then that time Thanos showed up.) Granted, it looks like the Baller could function differently than the Gyrospheres do in Jurassic World, but we’ll have to wait and see.

The Baller up-close.

Epic Games

Expect the Baller to roll into Fortnite: Battle Royale on Wednesday morning, and for Week 3 to begin on Thursday.

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