Why Fortnite Won't Feature Nintendo Characters?

One significant group remains conspicuously absent: Nintendo's beloved characters.
Here we go. The Big Bang event will have one more showing at 11pm ET tonight.
Here we go. The Big Bang event will have one more showing at 11pm ET tonight. / Epic Games | Fortnite X

Fortnite's extensive list of crossovers has turned the game into a melting pot of pop culture icons. From beloved video game legends like Chun-Li and Lara Croft to chart-topping musicians like Eminem and Billie Eilish, Fortnite has welcomed them all. However, amidst this diverse lineup, one notable absence stands out: Nintendo characters.

The reason behind this absence became clearer in a revealing interview with former Fortnite head honcho, Donald Mustard. It turns out, Epic Games had plans to bring a Metroid crossover to Fortnite during the Zero Crisis Finale in March 2021. This event had already introduced characters like Kratos from God of War and Master Chief from Halo.

Mustard's vision was ambitious: to unite the big three console giants by featuring Samus Aran alongside Kratos and the Chief. Nintendo was reportedly excited about the idea, but there was a catch. In a surprising move, Nintendo demanded that any Metroid collaboration be exclusive to the Switch version of Fortnite.

This request posed a dilemma for Epic Games. Implementing platform-exclusive cosmetics would contradict Fortnite's ethos of cross-platform multiplayer. Epic stood firm, unwilling to compromise the game's unified experience across all platforms.

While Samus Aran seemed like a natural fit for a Nintendo collaboration, this insistence on exclusivity might explain why Fortnite has yet to feature any Nintendo characters. If Nintendo is adamant about protecting Samus Aran, it's reasonable to assume they'd extend the same level of caution to all their iconic characters.

So, while the prospect of a Metroid, Mario, and The Legend of Zelda crossover remains tantalizing, it appears unlikely unless Nintendo adopts a more flexible approach. For now, Fortnite fans can only dream of the day when their favorite Nintendo characters join the battle royale fray.