Strange things are happening inside Fortnite, the wildly popular, free-to-play battle royale. Scratch that—Stranger Things, as in the equally popular Netflix original. Portals are popping up in Fortnite in what is a clear Stranger Things tie-in, just ahead of the show's Season 3 premier tomorrow on the streaming video service.
Image Source: Reddit (TAK_Blitz)
As shown above in a screenshot shared to Reddit by user TAK_Blitz, these not-so-mysterious portals (or gates) have a distinct look to them, with sprawling roots and an eerily orange and red glow in the center. They have been popping up in Fortnite's Mega Mall POI. Interestingly, stepping through them transports your character to a different section of the mall, rather than the dreaded Upside Down.
Have a look...
Perhaps that will change once the new season of Stranger Things gets underway, otherwise it feels like a missed opportunity to ignore the Upside Down.
In any event, the Stranger Things cameo is not a surprise, because this is not the first hint of a tie-in. Epic Games added a Scoops Ahoy Ice Cream Parlor to the Mega Mall at the start of Season 9. It is the same ice cream parlor that appears in the third season of Stranger Things, located in the food court of the Starcourt Mall.
Epic Games has not shied away from pop culture tie-ins. Previously, both Avengers: Endgame and John Wick were featured as limited time modes (LTMs).
As for Stranger Things, there is plenty of hype and excitement surrounding the new season. Even Microsoft may be getting in on the action, with its quirky Windows 1.0 'introduction' earlier this week. Windows 1.0 originally debuted in 1985, which happens to be the same year as the setting for Stranger Things Season 3.
You can catch (and/or binge watch) the third season of Stranger Things on Netflix starting tomorrow, July 4.