In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, Fortnite players can now purchase an outfit in the game’s store that references the GameStop stock saga.
Epic Games is leaning into the fun of April Fool’s Day this year by introducing the Diamond Hanz skin to Fortnite, a silly cosmetic item that brings together the popular “Stonks” meme, Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets, and the strange GameStop stock situation. Epic’s battle royale is known for its plentiful, and often fanciful, in-game cosmetics. The game recently kicked off its first Spring event, which allows players to celebrate the season with a selection of Spring-themed animal skins. The new meme-inspired set announced today will now join Fortnite’s unusual menagerie.
The events that led to the Diamond Hanz’s humorous offer began in January when game retailer GameStop suddenly found its stock prices soaring. The company had been struggling for some time prior to the unexpected upturn, with its stock prices having fallen below a $10 value in 2020. Its fortunes changed, however, with some help from the r/WallStreetBets subreddit, whose members had decided to buy up the cheap stock to disrupt hedge funds that planned on profiting from GameStop’s downfall. The situation created an unusual intersection between video game culture and real-world financial trading, leading to the Stonks meme’s resurgence. The meme, which depicts a mannequin-like figure standing confidently in front of a list of stocks and an upturned, orange arrow, was often used in the wake of the GameStop stock rollercoaster to express the bizarre success (for a time) of the whole affair.
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The Diamond Hanz skin was revealed on Fortnite’s official Twitter today in a short video filled with the exuberant sound of cowbell. The post, recalling a financial trading tradition, declared the “bell has been rung” and its new skin was ready for players. The Diamond Hanz skin, as part of the To The Moon set, is riddled with references to the r/WallStreetBets subreddit as both names are derived from some of the community’s various slogans, while the skin itself mimics the unblinking stare of the poorly rendered man from the meme. The set also comes with an orange arrow accessory called Gains Back Bling, which resembles both the arrow from the Stonks meme and a Reddit upvote. The set will set players back 1,200 V-Bucks in Fortnite‘s item shop.
Aside from this practical joke outfit, Fortnite has added a lot of content recently, which may draw more players to jump into the battle royale. The game’s Primordial season introduced an explosion of animals on its whimsical island, from dangerous to even more dangerous. One of the creatures in the latter category are the new tamable raptors that players can choose to make into companions or kill for resources.
April Fool’s Day can be a hit or miss holiday for the games industry. While fake announcements or “gotcha” moments do not always land, some games, like Fortnite, observe the day by introducing fun pieces of content.
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