Fortnite Lord of the Rings Easter egg makes fans' tongues wag

Fortnite Lord of the Rings Easter egg makes fans’ tongues wag

Fortnite fans have spotted a sneaky Lord of the Rings Easter egg in-game, sparking speculation about a new crossover.

The potential plague can be found on one of Fortnite Island’s beaches, where a small-scale replica of Helm’s Deep Castle can be seen.

Is this a tease of a future collaboration, perhaps timed to coincide with Amazon’s upcoming billion dollar Lord of the Rings prequel TV show? Or is this developer Epic Games just having some fun?

Eurogamer Newscast: What does Embracer’s Lord of the Rings buyout mean for Middle-earth games?

For starters, let’s take a look at the Easter egg itself. Epic Games has slowly built up this little castle over the course of the last season, via subtle map changes over the past few months.

With each patch, Epic likes to reward long-term Fortnite fans with minor changes to the map, with jokes and long-running backstorylines. (Here, the castle in question is actually the creation of the Rock Kid, whose stone family has appeared on the map since Chapter 1.)

I like to check in every update with the Rock Family and had clocked that the Rock Kid was building this little castle fight little by little. But it’s not until the latest update – with the destruction of the castle’s wall – that fans seem to have worked out where all this was going.

It sure looks like Helm’s Deep – but does this mean a full Fortnite crossover with Middle-earth? On this, things seem a little less likely.

For starters, the Lord of the Rings rights have traditionally been held by Warner Bros, who, notably, have not released any new DC characters in Fortnite since it started promoting its own crossover game, Multiversus.

Then there’s the matter of this week’s news that Lord of the Rings and all things in Middle-earth were bought by Embracer. That deal has yet to be finalized, but it’s safe to say that video game rights to Tolkien’s world are currently up in the air.

Indeed, previous references to Gandalf arriving in Multiversus have reportedly been deleted. Could this mean that Epic Games has come to Warner Bros instead? Or is Gandalf’s arrival simply delayed while new contracts are signed? (Remember: a wizard is always on time.)

Add fuel to the flames, reliable Fortnite yummy MidaRado today said one of three collaborations will appear in-game next week. Lord of the Rings is an option, followed by Family Guy (a longstanding epic plague that appears to have been an attempt to divert data miners), then Doom.

Of the three – and despite Helm’s Deep castle – Doom seems the most likely. It’s currently QuakeCon weekend, Bethesda promotions are underway through the Epic Game Store, and Doom will reappear in the publisher’s Fall Guys. We will definitely see next week.

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