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Why Fortnite and GI Joe make a more natural crossover, albeit with some weirdness

(Image via Epic Games) Snake Eyes is GI Joe
(Image via Epic Games) Snake Eyes is GI Joe's resident ninja
Izaak
ANALYST
Modified 01 Feb 2021
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The latest Fortnite crossover with Hasbro's GI Joe is arguably one of the best in Season 5 of Fortnite.

Unlike previous crossovers, GI Joe and Fortnite have a lot of similarities in their styles, and both feature a marketing strategy that pushes for a high degree of recognizability and market presence. In line with this crossover, Hasbro has even made its own Fortnite themed GI Joe action figure that plays heavily into both brands' strategies.

Fortnite continues to feature crossovers with every brand imaginable

In a stunning turn of events, GI Joe is one of the few properties not yet acquired by Disney, although Hasbro does reportedly have a special relationship with Disney. Nevertheless, this Fortnite crossover with GI Joe comes off as much more natural than previous Fortnite crossovers with The Predator, Kratos, and Master Chief.

This is mostly because GI Joe is aimed at a very similar audience to Fortnite. Both GI Joe and Fortnite are made with younger players in mind, despite GI Joe releasing in 1964, compared to Fortnite’s release in 2017. Despite this huge gap in release periods, the two of them both feature a wild, candy colored aesthetic that helps them stand out in a crowd.

Fortnite and GI Joe target a similar audience, but get handled differently

Despite these two products having much in common, there is still at least some discrepancy between them. Namely, the Snake Eyes action figure is technically marked for children aged eight and up, while Fortnite is rated for those 12+ by PEGI, and 13+ by the ESRB. 

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This particular difference is likely tied to the different ways cartoonish violence is handled when presented on a TV show compared to a video game. Fortnite isn’t especially more mature than GI Joe. But, old fears about play-violence leading to real violence mean that games generally end up more highly rated than similar depictions in other media.

For example, the GI Joe movies, released in 2009 and 2013 respectively, both earned a PG-13 rating for “intense violence.” While individual games of Fortnite can occasionally be considered intense, the degree of violence present in the game is incredibly mundane and cartoonish compared to what was present in the similarly rated films from a decade back.

Published 01 Feb 2021, 01:54 IST
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