Epic Games has added a sea shanty squad emote to Fortnite, which likely means that the popular meme the emote came from is likely dead.
The latest addition to Fortnite comes in the form of a sea shanty emote fit for an entire squad. Developer Epic Games has made a habit of including the latest pop culture trends in their battle royale whenever a new one seems to take over the world. This may be one of the last additions to the game before the current season ends in less than two weeks.
In today’s world, many pop culture trends tend to come about through TikTok and the rise of the sea shanty in 2021 is the latest example. It all started with Nathan Evans from Scotland, who has been singing sea shanties on TikTok since last summer. At the beginning of 2021, Evans sang a shanty by the name of “Wellerman” and that particular video ended up going viral, receiving millions of views and giving rise to #ShantyTok. Internet trends, however, have a habit of being short-lived, especially when mainstream outlets start getting involved with them.
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Nearly two months after Nathan Evans posted that original video, Fortnite has put its own spin on the sea shanty. It was added to the game as a squad emote and uses Fortnite-based lyrics to the tune of “Wellerman.” All members of a squad need to use the emote at the same time in order to make the group sing in unison. Fortnite posted a video showcasing the emote on its Twitter feed.
In the time it took Epic Games to create this squad emotes, the sea shanty trend has cooled considerably. This has largely been attributed to the aforementioned mainstream outlets that have attempted to put their spin on the pop culture craze. Average viewers tend to become disinterested with trends once recognizable name-brands get involved, even if that brand’s success is largely attributed to the addition of popular trends.
This was an instance where the developers at Epic Games were not fast enough to fully capitalize on what was going on in the world, but it is not their fault. Game development takes time and even something seemingly as simple as emotes takes considerable working hours to implement. Viral trends do not lend themselves for easy adaptation because of their short lifespans, but Epic Games has somehow made it work even if it is occasionally late. The meme might be dead or close to death, but at least Fortnite players can now sing a song worthy of the high seas.
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