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Here’s why Nintendo stopped Samus from being added to Fortnite

samus in fortnite

Metroid lead character Samus Aran may have been in line to join the Fortnite roster, but an odd request from Nintendo is said to have prompted Epic Games to bow out of the deal.

Fortnite has become a black hole of popular culture, drawing in icons from basically every form of media. Singers like Lady Gaga, action heroes like John Wick, random fan-favorite series like Avatar: The Last Airbender, and gargantuan cross-media IPs like Star Wars have all come together in the game. Video games are no exception, as Metal Gear’s Solid Snake, Halo’s Master Chief, and God of War’s Kratos have all boarded the Battle Bus.

Given how Epic Games has gotten Disney to commit to crossover events, it feels like nothing is out of reach. That makes it strange that, to date, there hasn’t been a single Nintendo-owned character who has appeared in Fortnite. According to a former higher-up from Epic Games, that almost wasn’t the case. Samus was said to be lined up to be a Fortnite skin but Nintendo’s stipulations saw those plans get scrapped.

Is Samus from Metroid in Fortnite?

Samus from Metroid isn’t in Fortnite and may not ever be, but a former Epic Games executive stated that the character almost got added to the battle royale.

Epic Games’ chief creative officer Donald Mustard left the company last year after overseeing Fortnite’s rise from a sinking shooter to the biggest game of its era. As CCO, he was the point man for many of the splashy collaborations that helped Fortnite grow to mainstream visibility. He states that this saw him deal directly with A-list celebrities and other major video game publishers, and discussed that experience with Stephen Totilo.

According to Mustard, this included dealing with Nintendo on the potential addition of Samus to Fortnite. While Nintendo was receptive, he states that the company demanded that Samus skin only be visible on Nintendo Switch. This nixed the deal, as Fortnite has consistently maintained skins being available across all platforms.

Mustard’s story was generally met with frustration from fans, who questioned why Nintendo would limit the visibility of Metroid.

Metroid is one of Nintendo’s longest-running series, but it hasn’t traditionally had particularly strong sales relative to other franchises. This has seen Metroid shelved by Nintendo on multiple occasions, despite Super Metroid, Prime, Fusion, and Dread being held among the best games on their respective platforms.

Fans speculate that adding Samus to Fortnite would have been a boon to Metroid. One can question how impactful it would have been given the sheer number of skins added to Fortnite. There’s also a pattern of Nintendo cutting off its nose to spite its face when it comes to protecting its IPs, something that has frustrated both Pokemon fans and esports competitors on many occasions over the years.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2. His work has previously been featured by Bleacher Report and The Washington Post, and he was an Assistant Editor at WIN.gg. You can follow him on Twitter / X at @srondina.

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