Epic Games has announced a partnership with Panini America this morning, along with the creation of some surprising new merchandise for their mega-popular game Fortnite. Previously, collectors hunted down action figures, replica weapons, Funko Pops, and even Nerf guns. Now, they can look forward to finding Fortnite sticker albums as well as official Fortnite trading cards, both set to release in 2019. While an exact date has yet to be announced, Panini America has already listed a preorder bundle for $60. This bundle includes 144 different trading cards, 9 of which will not be available any other way.
The timing of this announcement is likely planned to pull players back into the game after the rising popularity of other battle royales. Back in February, Apex Legends, a new battle royale game from Respawn Entertainment, stole Fortnite’s spot as the most-watched game on Twitch. Epic Games has since retaliated with the release of new features such as the Baller vehicle, and has once again reclaimed its most-watched title. The release of new merchandise is likely intended to further garner interest and keep Fortnite relevant.
Of course, it makes sense that Epic Games would want to keep Fortnite going for as long as possible. Through the selling of the premium currency called “V-Bucks,” the company earned a whopping 2.4 billion dollars in 2018 alone. With new merchandise and cosmetics being released constantly, it is no wonder Epic can make so much off of a free-to-play game.
The two trading card bundles available on the official Panini website cost $48 and $60 respectfully. There’s no telling how much Epic will be making off of these Fortnite trading cards, especially when compared to the continually rising popularity of the game. There’s no telling when the trading cards will be made available for purchase, either, but hopefully it they’ll be available soon for all those Fortnite fans hungry for more merchandise.