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Streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins announced on Twitter today that he will soon be featured inside the game that made him famous, Fortnite. Blevins revealed that his likeness and branding will be featured on a new in-game skin (a term for cosmetics that change the appearance of an in-game character) which will be made available for purchase on Thursday.
The skin features the trademark blue hair and yellow headband that has become part of Blevin’s personal branding. As they have moved away from solely representing established esports teams, many top level streamers have developed their own personal logos and branding, which is often used to sell merchandise such as T-shirts.
According to an announcement by Epic Games, the Ninja skin is part of a cosmetics program called the “Icon Series,” wherein the developer creates in-game items themed after popular real-world figures from gaming, music, and entertainment. The announcement notes that Epic previously created a skin in collaboration with DJ Christopher “Marshmello” Comstock, and teases that more cosmetics in the Icon Series will be released in the future.
Epic’s history of leveraging pop culture for in-game cosmetics goes well beyond individual influencers. Several films have received promotion through Fortnite skins and events, most recently the latest Star Wars film Rise of Skywalker not only received a suite of cosmetics, but also aired an exclusive trailer within Fortnite.
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