Fortnite Splatoon collaboration may have been leaked

Epic Games loves finding franchises which it can collaborate with for content in Fortnite. The hit battle royale has hosted a number of crossovers this year alone. Now, it looks like Epic may be looking to collaborate with none other than Nintendo, as a recent leak points to a Fortnite Splatoon collaboration event.

The news comes from Hypex, who claims to have found data pointing to the collaboration with help of fellow data miners s110x and Lucas7yoshi. Longtime Fortnite fans may recognize one or all of these names, as they’ve leaked a number of in-game items through data mining before. In a post on Twitter, Hypex explained that they found some files that contained the word “SquidKid” in a recent content update for Fortnite.

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Casual fans might think that the word refers to Splatoon‘s playable characters, but this isn’t actually the case—they’re technically called “inklings.”  The name “SquidKid” instead represents one of the in game “brands” for cosmetic items, specifically shoes, in Nintendo’s ink-and-paint-based shooter. As for the files found by the dataminers in Fortnite, these also represent a couple of cosmetic items. Specifically, Hypex stated that the files pointed to a skin and backbling.

Of course, the “SquidKid” term could simply be a a placeholder name for something totally unrelated to Splatoon. The word doesn’t conclusively point to Splatoon, unlike if Epic had used the actual term like “Inkling” in the files. That said, the fact that the files do spell out the term the exact same way as in Splatoon, complete with a capitalized letter K, does raise some eyebrows.

One thing this supposed collaboration does have in its favor is that both Fortnite and Splatoon seem to be a good fir for each other. Both games feature a colorful, somewhat cartoon-inspired aesthetic. More importantly, both games are also targeted for all ages, something that can’t exactly be said for some of Fortnite‘s more recent crossovers. Fortnite is currently hosting a a couple of collaborations with franchises that are decidedly less child-friendly. Epic recently added a special appearance by the evil clown Pennywise from the horror film IT Chapter Two. In addition to this, the game is also collaborating with Gearbox’s upcoming looter shooter Borderlands 3. While the latter features a more cartoony art style, its sense of humor is one that’s decidedly for mature audiences only.

Other more adult-themed collaborations include the John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum content that the game hosted back in the spring. Additionally, the recent Stranger Things collaboration can also be considered somewhat less child-friendly, with the Netflix show receiving an 15 and above age rating in the UK. Fortnite, on the other hand, only has a PEGI 12 rating in the region.

If this supposed Splatoon collaboration is real, it will most likely be exclusive to Fortnite‘s Nintendo Switch version. Now Epic has released console exclusive cosmetics for Fortnite on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One before, so something exclusive for the Switch isn’t out of the question. However, this would represent the first time a franchise from one of the big three console manufacturers will be getting a collaboration. This does raise the question of whether or not Fortnite content will appear in a Nintendo game in exchange.

Nintendo does have one game that seems to be trying its best to get as many crossovers characters in it as possible: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Does this supposed Splatoon collaboration in Fortnite open the door for something from the latter appearing in Smash? Considering all the third party characters who’ve already been added, or are coming to the game, it does seem like a very enticing possibility.