Fortnite Has A Leaker Problem, And They Seem To Know Everything

Dataminers dissect Fortnite all the time, but lately, some details have come out that even they can't reach.

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Fortnite is leaking. It has been for years. In a community of its size, the perpetual stream of datamined details from players inspecting the game's PC files with each new update makes sense. Fans are ravenous for information on what's coming down the content pipeline for one of the world's biggest platforms--be it new game modes, new weapons, or especially new collaborations like Marvel, Ariana Grande, and The Walking Dead. Maybe in some light, Epic would even say Fortnite's state of constantly being dissected by its players is a blessing. It's perhaps flattering to be so wanted rather than ignored, to which teams behind past failed live-service games can probably attest.

By now, Epic surely knows to expect any secrets dumped into its files to be ripped out before their proper reveals, and for now, there seems to be no way around that. But lately, a different set of leaks has been appearing online. So far, they are proving to be credible, and some even speak to in-game events out of the reach of even the most restless dataminers. Someone is sharing the game's most secretive plans.

Historically, the cadence of being a Fortnite fan has meant waking up to--or staying up for--recaps of everything dataminers like Hypex, iFireMonkey, and ShiinaBR uncover in their efforts with the overnight patches the game receives roughly every few weeks. There's no shortage of Fortnite players like them who have built successful brands on YouTube and Twitter largely through sharing these Fortnite leaks, but there has always been much more they didn't have access to.

Fortnite's massive in-game concert was leaked weeks before Epic's planned rollout.
Fortnite's massive in-game concert was leaked weeks before Epic's planned rollout.

First appearing on the Fortnite leaks subreddit in July was a "big news dump" which the moderators of the subreddit verified with the unnamed leaker. The post was upvoted over 2,000 times and included details on things we've since seen come true, like the Ariana Grande concert and more Suicide Squad skins.

The confirmation of some of these leaks gives credence to others from the same leaker, who also mentioned Fortnite Season 8 involving a parallel universe, or "sideways" world, akin to The Upside-Down in Stranger Things, as well as a Naruto skin in the battle pass. The leaker also mentioned things as distant as Chapter 3, which isn't expected to arrive until late 2022 following Chapter 2, Season 10. This same leaker even once revealed the details of Chapter 2, Season 6's "Primal" theme, including new gameplay features such as wildlife and weapon-crafting, as well as skins like Lara Croft and Agent Jonesy, furthering their credibility when speaking on such hushed matters.

While we won't know for a few more weeks whether everything this person has shared about Season 8 is true--and another year for Chapter 3--their track record is starting to look reliable. Worse for Epic, they recently returned with a second news dump for the community, and already we're seeing more of these details come true.

This more recent leak said skins like Detective Mike Lowrey from Bad Boys and Marvel's Shang-Chi were coming to the Item Shop, and detailed "something called 'First Shadows'" as the next Crew Pack. While we haven't seen confirmation about Shang-Chi, Marvel and Epic are clearly very close these days. Lowrey and the First Shadows, meanwhile, have both already been revealed.

Kevin The Cube made a clandestine cameo in the Rift Tour.
Kevin The Cube made a clandestine cameo in the Rift Tour.

Other yet-to-be-confirmed details in this second leak suggest the return of Kevin The Cube, a pink cube with mysterious origins and properties, as well as a forthcoming countdown to something called "Skyfire." While we don't know what Skyfire is, the Rift Tour did slyly hint at Kevin's return and lends even more credence to the anonymous insider.

In the past, we've seen the game's most prominent leakers like Hypex share leaks from Fortnite devs. Hypex even once disclosed to his millions of followers that an Epic employee had "vanished," perhaps due to being found out or just out of fear of such a scenario, after they previously shared many secrets. Hypex also revealed other previous leaks that he received had come from playtesters, like those during Chapter 2, Season 1.

It may not be a leaker within Epic itself. It could be someone in the company has been hacked. It could be someone who ended up on the wrong mailing list is using their access in this way. There are many possible explanations, but whoever has come into possession of this sensitive information is not sitting on it. They're sharing leaks on both short- and long-term timescales, including things that, if true, the Fortnite community won't see for another year in some cases. I reached out to Epic, but the tight-lipped company had no comment to offer on what or who might be the source of these more eye-catching leaks.

Sharing content that is days away and buried in the game's files is probably a bitter pill Epic has learned to swallow over the years as it's remained on top of the gaming world. It comes with the territory. But this seems to clearly go beyond the typical datamining discoveries. One has to wonder how many people have been briefed on the details of things such as Chapter 3, which is so far off that it seems highly privileged.

Epic is surely investigating the matter, but as for how big its list of suspects is or whether it needs to look within the company or beyond are things that I can only guess. For an industry as secretive as this one, leaks will always make headlines. Similarly, for a company as big and resource-dense as Epic, I'd be surprised if this insider isn't unmasked before some of their leaked events come to pass in-game.

Mark Delaney on Google+

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