The oddest cameo in Avengers: Endgame isn’t from Stan Lee or co-director Joe Russo. The cameo by Fortnite, the popular online battle royale game, is the one with the biggest ramifications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And that’s because it raises an awkward question: does Fortnite’s Thanos modealso exist in the Avengers universe? And if so, what does that mode look like in a post-Snap world?
The limited-time Thanos game mode shook up the traditional Fortnite formula, forcing players to team up to fight against the super-powered, Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Mad Titan. Yes, Fortnite’s Thanos mode, and the subsequent Avengers: Endgame mode that succeeded it this year, are marketing tools for our universe’s Avengers movies, which probably don’t exist in the Marvel world, unless there are some very, very dedicated documentarians out there.
But we do know from Infinity War that Avengers-branded tie in products exist: in Avengers: Infinity War, Doctor Strange and Wong reference Stark Raving Hazelnuts and Hunka-Hulk-a Burning Fudge flavors of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, implying that this kind of licensed tie-in is fairly commonplace in the Marvel world. And Spider-Man: Homecominghas shown that these heroes are essentially celebrities, so the possibility of an Avengers video game tie in is at least within the realm of possibility.
Still, we need to address the logistics of how Fortnite exists in a post-Snap world, let alone how it’s still so popular five years after the Snap (so in 2023, six years after it launched in our world) that Thor and Korg can matchmake with opponents easily, despite connecting from the extremely rural town of News Asgard / Tønsberg, Norway.
After the Snap, we’re told that the world plunged into chaos for a time: governments, armed forces, doctors, first responders, and so forth have all been halved. But that may explain Fortnite’s ongoing popularity: even after the world returns to something resembling equilibrium, the number of video game developers, producers, directors, marketing teams, etc. would also have been halved. Worldwide chaos and internal company chaos would have both dramatically slowed down new releases. Halving the player base also means fewer potential sales, which would hurt the bottom line for gaming companies as well — giving them every reason to lean hard on expanding existing popular products instead of focusing on new ones.
So updating and maintaining servers for a free-to-play game like Fortnite would be a viable long-term plan to keep the lights on at a game studio. The entire video gaming world likely saw a condensing post-Snap, but that reduced player base would also explain why Korg apparently keeps running into the same annoying “Noobmaster69” opponent, which is unlikely in our world’s version of the game, given the larger player pool and the random matchmaking system.IN A POST-SNAP WORLD, FORTNITE STILL SURVIVES
But does the average person even know Thanos exists? For those who weren’t on the battlefield in Wakanda with the Avengers, it would have been tough to immediately know what caused the Snap, and “genocidal purple space tyrant” probably wasn’t on most people’s list. Still, in Endgame, both Captain America and Ronin reference Thanos to non-Avengers — Cap at his support group, and Ronin when hunting down gangsters in Japan — so it seems the heroes have shared the news about him with the general populace.
But still, would there be a Thanos mode in the MCU version of Fortnite? It’s hard to see Epic Games developing one, given that Thanos is the worst mass murderer ever to exist within the Avengers’ world, and putting him in a video game as a playable character whose sole goal is to wipe out everyone else on the map would no doubt be the height of cultural insensitivity. (Plus, they would have had to develop it post-Snap.)
Then again, video game studios aren’t always knownfor making the best decisions, and it’s possible that a Thanos mode could still exist in the MCU’s Fortnite — but likely in a very different style. While our universe’s Thanos gamemode is almost comically distasteful in an MCU context, it’s possible that a more cathartic mode — for instance, where players could work together to exact some sort of fantastical revenge on the universe’s greatest villain — could exist at some point. In the same way own modern games — like the Call of Duty series, which have made an artform of cashing in on human tragedies like World War II — draw on real-world atrocities for video game plots.
Still, if there was a Thanos mode in the MCU, Korg probably wouldn’t play it in Endgame. At least not while Thor’s around, given howsensitive Thor is about hearing the Mad Titan’s name. Then again, that’s what headsets are for.
Starting today, you can play the original Minecraft — complete with bugs — in your web browser. To celebrate the iconic game’s impending 10th anniversary, developer Mojang released “MinecraftClassic,” which preserves the game as it was in 2009. That includes a much more spartan interface, an extremely limited 32 blocks to build with, as well as all of the bugs and technical issues that were present at the time. “Minecraft 2009 is even more glorious than we remembered!” Mojang’s Tom Stone wrote in the announcement post. It’s certainly a far cry from the current iteration of the game, as well as future plans like moving into augmented reality, so don’t go in expecting things like survival mode.
Microsoft Corp. showed a video hinting that its popular Minecraft video game will soon add augmented-reality features, saying more information will come on May 17.
The clip, screened at the software maker’s Build developer conference Monday in Seattle, showed a user leaving a mobile phone on a bench and another person picking it up and using it to view a 3-D Minecraft hologram. May 17 is the 10th anniversary of the original release of Minecraft, a cult-favorite game that lets players build virtual worlds. The company showed the video to close Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella’s keynote speech.
Mobile augmented-reality games, which overlay digital elements on real-world scenes using a phone’s camera, surged to popularity following the 2016 debut of Niantic Inc.’s Pokemon Go.
The characteristic inventory menu from “Minecraft” sits along the bottom of the screen, but the rest of the screen is consumed by the world of “Minecraft.”A very pixelated pig marches around in mud, and a few of the game's villagers show up to take a look.
There's little else to know at the moment, but it sounds like we'll hear more soon — a May 17 reveal is scheduled, right in time for the 10th anniversary of the game.
Microsoft had plenty of software reveals at Build 2019 on Monday, and hinted at gaming news. During the event, Microsoft released a teaser video of a new augmented reality (AR) Minecraft mobile game similar to Pokemon Go and Harry Potter Wizards Unite. There was no official name for the game, but there was a date of May 17 for the reveal.
May 17 is an important date for Minecraft. Developer Mojang and Microsoft will hold a press event in Stockholm on the day to celebrate the game's 10-year anniversary.
AR games reached new heights when Pokemon Go was released in 2016 and became the fastest iTunes app to reach $1 billion at the time. It spawned several similar games including Ghostbusters World, Jurassic Park World Alive and the soon-to-be-released Harry Potter Wizards Unite.
Microsoft didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Originally published on May 6, 10:42 a.m. PT. Update, 12:45 a.m. PT: Adds background info on event and AR games.
Microsoft has started to tease what appears to be a new Minecraft game for mobile devices. The software giant used a video at the end of the company’s Build 2019 keynote today to show Minecraft in augmented reality, running on a phone. In the video, Minecraft creative director Saxs Persson leaves his phone on a bench outside the Washington State Convention Center where Microsoft’s Build developer conference is being held. A passerby picks it up and is able to see Minecraft running in AR, suggesting that Microsoft is preparing a new game.
It’s not clear what this Minecraft game will be, but it could be a killer app for augmented reality. We’ve not seen many apps or games since Pokémon Go that have demonstrated the potential for augmented reality, and Pokémon Go has been downloaded more than 500 million times.
Microsoft isn’t commenting further about any plans for Minecraft AR. The teaser also notes that more information will be coming on May 17th, the 10-year anniversary of Minecraft. Microsoft has previously shown Minecraft running on the HoloLens headset, but that was simply a tech demo rather than a new game. Microsoft’s teaser feels like something bigger, especially as it’s clearly tied to 10 years of Minecraft. We should learn a lot more on May 17th.