Inside Fortnite’s Marketing Universe

Guillaume Chichmanov
March 11, 2024

With 500 million registered players, Fortnite is a highly popular game released by Epic Games, one of the most popular 3D game developers. One can say it has earned a special place in pop culture, transcending its entertainment boundaries. With millions of enthusiastic players logging into Fortnite daily, it presents an incredible outreach opportunity for brands.

Epic Games's creator of Fortnite announced in 2023 that they'll pay Fortnite creators through a new program called Creator Economy 2.0. While gaming influencers have taken full advantage of it, brands can win if they play their cards right.

In this guide, we'll discuss how brands can leverage Fortnite by outsourcing game art and present some pertinent case studies to support our argument. So, read on and discover how your brand can reach customers by outsourcing game art for Fortnite.

Skin in the Game  

Fortnite players adore skins and try to collect as many as possible. Skins are basically the outfits players wear in Fortnite and can be changed when needed. Although they don't have any particular advantages, they offer players a way to express their personalities and communicate their preferences to others. It's like wearing a jersey in a football match, where it doesn't make a player more capable but has a communicative aspect.

Gen Z likes to play it cool and wants to express itself through various colors and designs. Fortnite skins give them the perfect opportunity for that. The further a player progresses in the game, the more skins they collect, showing they have achieved something through their efforts.

Brands can grab this perfect opportunity if they hire 3D artists and release limited-edition, special skins in Fortnite’s marketing universe. For instance, if you're running Supreme, the apparel brand, you could launch a digital version of your NFL jersey. You could launch your cold drink shops in the game if you're Pepsi or Coca-Cola. 

One thing to remember here is that the integration should feel organic and not forced. You can take it a notch above by allowing players to personalize your skin in the way they like to make the whole experience more organic.

Investing in Fortnite 

Given the game's financial scale, investing in Fortnite is a lucrative prospect for any business. Fortnite has generated revenues to the tune of $5.8 billion, thanks to various revenue streams and collaborations. The game allows brands to transform their image and reach audiences more effectively and uniquely. When players see a brand offering goodies like 2x the normal power, they are attracted to it and are likely to try it in the future.

Let’s explore how brands can do it effectively in Fortnite’s marketing universe. 

Partner with Streamers 

One way is to partner directly with Epic Games, as the examples above suggest. However, it's impossible for every brand, especially consumer goods brands. There's a way out for them here: collaborating with streamers.

Brands would be mistaken not to understand the appeal these streamers have. Today, many youngsters would pick these streamers over popular celebrities like Cardi B, Ariana Grande, or the Rock. In fact, one can say that these streamers are Gen Z celebs. 

The brands that understand streamers' power have already started collaborating with them: Red Bull’s partnership with Blevins and Gillette's partnership with Guy “Dr DisRespect” Beahm are the best examples.

However, blindly partnering with a popular streamer isn't the strategy either. Many followers simply attend streams and watch their favorite streamers without caring about their sponsors. The way out of it is to research your potential audience and the streamers they follow to understand how much influence the latter have over the former.

Branding in-game Items 

Fortnite is full of times that can be branded, which is an authentic way of reaching your audience that blends perfectly with the gameplay. Some companies might not want to brand guns and other ammo in Fortnite for obvious reasons. 

Still, many other items in the game can be branded organically by collaborating with 3D game artists. For instance, you can easily slap your logo on the shield potion or slurp juice, and players will see it whenever they drink it.

You can also increase the power or effect of the potion. For instance, you can offer a branded potion 2x or 3x the normal power. 

Build a Store Front 

Some stores are insanely popular among youth, so getting them in Fortnite’s marketing universe makes perfect sense. If you're running Subway, you could get a storefront with the same name inside Fortnite’s marketing universe. Although you won't sell any sandwiches in the game, it's an excellent way of reaching out to fast food lovers, primarily youth. Similarly, a brand like Wendy's can take this approach and catch the attention of thousands.

Players can farm a storefront for material and get double the normal amount when they get a storefront in the retail row. When you make such an offer through 3D marketing, players flock toward your storefront and fight to make the most of the bonanza. As a result, your brand gets way more attention than it could through traditional advertising channels.

Integrate your brand in a popular map

Integrating a brand within popular maps in Fortnite presents a unique opportunity for companies to engage with a vast audience in an immersive virtual environment. This approach is also more cost effective than building your own branded world.

By strategically placing branded elements such as billboards, signage, or even custom structures within the game's landscapes, brands can seamlessly integrate their identity into the gaming experience.

Successful Brand Collaborations with Fortnite 

By collaborating with several successful brands and 3D game developers, Epic Games has blurred the lines between entertainment, gaming, and culture. Since it's an open platform accessible to everyone, brands can create activations without working directly with Epic Games. Let's discuss some of the most popular and successful brand collaborations inside Fortnite’s marketing universe.

1. Marvel 

Who doesn't know Marvel, the creator of Spiderman, Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow? The past four years have seen multiple collaborations between the Studio and Fortnite, with the latter featuring multiple characters and adaptations in its universe. The partnerships started in 2019 when the game featured Black Widow and Star-Lord skins.

This CGI marketing was a big hit and led to multiple collaborations down the line focused on skins and avatars. The gaming experience was further enhanced by pickaxes, such as Groot's Sap Axes and Deadpool’s Katanas. Similarly, Marvel promised to feature Fortnite in its movies, benefiting both parties.

Fortnite Chapter 2 season 4 battle pass all Marvel skins - Polygon

2. Balenciaga 

Balenciaga was the first-ever fashion brand to partner with Fortnite’s marketing universe in 2021. Its most popular and iconic collection inspired the brand, which helped launch a special Balenciaga Fit Set Collection for characters like Banshee, Doggo, Ramirez, and Knight. It was a realization of Epic Games’s idea to let players express themselves however they saw fit. Self-expression has always been a central philosophy of Fortnite and Epic Games, resulting in this partnership with Balenciaga.

Balenciaga retail stores were also opened in the virtual space based on the real stores. The game also allowed players to do a Balenciaga custom dance in the street to make the partnership feel more organic. Similarly, virtual billboards of Balenciaga were installed to highlight the community’s fashion sense.

However, the partnership didn't just stay confined to the virtual world. Balenciaga launched a special clothing line with Fortnite branding available at select stores and on their website. The collection has hats, tees, and hoodies inspired by the in-game Retail Row, appealing to Gen Z. Moreover, 3D billboards were installed in Seoul, Tokyo, New York, and London, showcasing DOOH activation.

Balenciaga and Fortnite team up for a digital-to-physical partnership |  Vogue France

3. Netflix 

Netflix is everyone's jam these days, with people spending countless hours watching their favorite content. Since Netflix called Fortnite bigger than HBO, a collaboration was always on the cards. The collaboration did materialize when Netflix gave Fortnite players access to various characters from Stranger Things, Arcane, and One Piece.

Netflix released special skins based on Stranger Things’s season 3 featuring Demogorgon and Chief Hopper. Similarly, in-game locations also resembled the locations in the series, such as the Scoops Ahoy ice cream parlor.

Moreover, Netflix launched special animations and graphics for Fortnite’s marketing universe to mimic the popular anime show One Piece. It featured the three classic ships shown in the Netflix show, and players were assigned one of the two crews with pistols, cannons, and swords.

4. Star Wars 

The Star Wars collaboration featured characters like Obi-Wan, Leia, Luka, and Darth Maul. Moreover, it transformed the gaming map by adding new details. 

Players engaged in interesting battles with Star Wars characters like Darth Vader and Clone Troopers while learning important force-fighting skills from them. When Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was released, Disney launched its special preview of the game, watched by 3.1 million people globally.

New Star Wars x Fortnite Activation to Celebrate the Prequel Trilogy |

5. Ralph Lauren 

Ralph Lauren collaborated with Fortnite and launched a digital and physical collection. The physical collection included polos and sweaters and was inspired by the digital collection. It was the first time in its 55-year history that Ralph Lauren redesigned its Polo Pony logo for this collaboration. 

Fortnite X Polo Ralph Lauren Is for the Players

Create Your Own Branded Fortnite Experience with Cominted Labs 

Fortnite’s marketing universe can be transformational for brand visibility, especially if you want to target a younger audience. With branded items, skin, storefronts, and other elements, Fortnite provides multiple ways to engage users and increase your brand value. However, it is crucial to have a partner like Cominted Labs to pull this off. We have years of experience in marketing with a team of 3D game artists fully committed to their craft.

From 3D ads to branded worlds, there is nothing that Cominted Labs cannot do. We have already created several branded experiences inside Fortnite’s marketing universe and are the pioneers in outsourcing game art.

So, contact us today and book a demo. We will guide you about everything and help you take your brand visibility to the next level. 

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