There’s something big afoot in Fortnite: Battle Royale, and Epic wants all eyes forward. The developer just updated the in-game news feed with a somewhat cryptic message advertising the upcoming Season 5 battle pass, something that dedicated players have been speculating about for a while but that Epic has only recently started to address head-on. The text reads only “Worlds Collide: 3 days until Season 5.”
The message is accompanied by a teaser image that Epic’s official Fortnite twitter sent out a little while ago. It appears to depict a stylized version of a Japanese mask depicting Kitsune, which is both the word for fox and a sort of character out of folklore and mythology. There’s also a blue, crackling rift over the right eye, something that matches what players have been seeing in-game for about a week. Kitsune is a guess, mind you. It could be something else.
If you’re just tuning in, this probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If you’ve been following other leaks and teases, however, this actually stacks very well. For some time, the dominant theory about the theme for Season 5 has been something like time travel, with different areas and skins tied to different historical eras. This message isn’t an explicit confirmation, but it feels right in line.
We have an idea of what these worlds will be, as well. A desert biome added to Fortnite: Save The World as well as a recently-materialised stagecoach strongly indicate that one of these eras will be Wild West theme, and the Kitsune mask, though not really specific to any time period, could indicate the perennial video game favorite of feudal Japan. We also have a wooden anchor that could be Ancient Greek, or could point to any other sort of long-past seafaring people. At this point, the Wild West feels pretty firm, with others still a bit up in the air.
Still, the idea of worlds colliding points pretty strongly to different historical settings showing up in the in-game map. These might show up all at once, or they might roll out gradually. Whatever is happening, it’s a pretty good balance of giving us some pretty explicit clues to work with while still leaving some big questions unanswered. The cracks in the sky are growing menacing, and something will probably come out of them soon.