Epic Games is going all out to promote the next season of Fortnite, which kicks off on February 20. In addition to cryptic social media posts, hints about the new update are showing up outside the game with players discovering teasers around the world.
The marketing campaign began over the weekend as fans started finding strange posters for the game in different cities. Each one shows a golden handprint slapped on top of the Fortnite logo. The ads display a phone number specific to each country amid rows of redacted text.
When calling the U.S. number, a short, pre-recorded message plays.
“Agency recruitment drive is a go. Happy hunting agents. Oil rig operations confirmed,” a voice says through static. The message ends with what sounds like a cat meowing, followed by the sounds of materials harvesting or someone having a bad coughing fit.
— FNLeaksAndInfo // Max (@FNLeaksAndInfo) February 17, 2020
Phone numbers in other countries play slightly different messages, making references to agents, safes, and explosive specialists.
As part of the campaign, a new bot named “The Agency” appeared in Fortnite’s Discord server, where people reported that some accounts are now displaying as “Activated,” though it doesn’t seem to have any in-game effect for now and appears to be completely random.
The real-world teasers line up with direct marketing from Fortnite’s social media channels. The game’s Twitter account began tweeting cryptic messages Monday morning, which match the aesthetic of the posters. Each post contains the same golden handprint and redacted text alongside the February 20 release date for season 2. The account’s profile image also displays a gold Fortnite logo.
Similar hints appear in the game itself. Golden objects such as TVs and couches have been spotted around the game’s map, leading fans to speculate that a new material may come in the next season.
While the wildly popular game is no stranger to creative marketing, the campaign is larger than usual. The promotion veers into alternate reality game territory, a tactic that was infamously used to build excitement for Halo 2 in 2004.
Not much is known about Fortnite’s next season and the teasers haven’t given more insight. For now, fans can only speculate about the gold motif and repeated reference to agents, which could be implying a spy-themed event. Fortnite’s season 2 begins on February 20, so there are still a few days left for the possible alternate reality to develop.
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