Fortnite is nearly two months into Chapter 2 Season 8, which means the next chapter — figuratively and literally — could be right around the corner. There’s the oft-discussed Naruto crossover to look forward to, but there are much bigger developments happening on the horizon. If leaks and presumptions are anything to go by, there may be another Marvel collab in the works capable of shattering the current battle royale meta.
While it’s not entirely clear if the next season of Fortnite will be another smaller seasonal adjustment or a larger chapter-based overhaul, the usual leak sources continue to datamine clues about some of the major features Fortnite’s developers at Epic Games are likely working on. Chief among those leakers is, of course, HYPEX, who sparked some debate in the middle of October about a certain Marvel web-slinger finally making his way to the battle royale.
HYPEX wrote in a tweet that Epic is reportedly working on a new in-game item code-named “WestSausage” with data strings referring to “Swing Attach Location, Swing Detach Time, Swinging, Swing Accelerate, Swing Jump.” The name WestSausage definitely sounds a bit goofy, but the WS initials tied to those concepts conjure up an image of everyone’s favorite neighborhood hero from Queens.
HYPEX has been proven correct the vast majority of the time, suggesting that, if these data strings exist, it’s almost a sure thing that Epic is hard at work on some sort of swinging mechanic. Those commands seem pretty definitive and aren’t exactly something that would seem that impossible in the world of Fortnite as we’ve known it. For all intents and purposes, it seems fairly likely Spider-Man will find his way to the Island in some capacity.
The timing is kismet
Aside from the implications being made by the data, it also doesn’t hurt to remember spidey’s stewards inside Marvel are about to kick off a major Spider-Man marketing beat as well. With Spider-Man: No Way Home arriving in theaters December 17, it seems probable there’s an interest in plastering Peter Parker’s likeness in any arena that will take him.
The team behind Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers game is falling in line, with its own take on spidey set to arrive November 30 on PlayStation platforms, so why wouldn’t Epic throw its hat in the ring as well?
Epic and Marvel have a strong working relationship, and Fortnite Chapter 9 is currently set to end around December 5, just a few days before No Way Home debuts in cinemas. Couple that reality with the above leaks, and it's hard to ignore the synergy happening here. Just like Deadpool before him, Spider-Man seems like perfect fodder for a battle pass skin, and he’d be coming to the Island at a time that’s insanely advantageous for marketing purposes.
Could web-slinging break Fortnite?
When it comes to figuring out precisely how web-slinging or swinging could work in the Fortnite universe, fans don’t have to look too far for inspiration. You may remember, for example, how limited-time superpowers functioned as items during Season 4 in the fall of 2020. Web functionality could easily follow that mold, with players being able to attach to buildings with either a limited number of uses or a time limit in which those swings could be used.
It goes without saying, though, that such an idea would offer a pretty big shift to the current iteration of the Fortnite meta. Despite builds becoming more sophisticated and occasional item drops increasing mobility, the chance to swing from rooftops makes the game’s trademark height advantage all the more critical to success. In gameplay scenarios, it could prompt players to consider mainstay POIs like Lazy Lake, Retail Row, and Misty Meadows from a different perspective. The more buildings there are in close proximity to one another, the more ways there are to get the drop on an opponent. In a sense, the concept could make some of the most loot-drenched parts of the map even sweatier than they are today.
Especially as competitive Battle Royales like Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone place increased emphasis on speed and verticality, Epic responding with licensed web-swinging sounds like an interesting idea. If the end result feels even remotely close to the mechanics established in the Marvel’s Spider-Man games, we’re absolutely here for it.