The Fortnite store will not be accepting Monero payments in exchange for merchandise and virtual items.
The CEO and founder of Epic Games, the gaming company that developed Fortnite, denied the involvement with cryptocurrencies on Twitter:
Actually, Fortnite’s brief foray into crypto was accidental. We worked with a partner to open a merchandise store, and somewhere along the way Monero payment was enabled.https://t.co/vzmSCMey3T— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) January 6, 2019
According to Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, the whole incident was “accidental” as it was actually a payment partner that enabled the Monero payments.
Several news publications over the last week, including CryptoGlobe, reported that Fortnite merchandise store was accepting payment in Monero (XMR). It all started when Riccardo Spagni, the lead maintainer of the Monero project, tweeted:
Too cool: the Fortnite merch store (https://t.co/KNL4IFCFHk) lets you pay in Monero, so now you can purchase that sweet Durrr Burger onesie without your friends / family / coworkers judging you. https://t.co/XYs1NjGvGp— Riccardo Spagni (@fluffypony) January 1, 2019
Is Epic Games Developing a Cryptocurrency in Secret?
Taking into account that there are Playstation 4 games scheduled for release that use blockchain technology, it wouldn’t be surprising that Epic Games would be looking into ways to substitute the V-bucks, the digital currency used in Fortnite, for a cryptocurrency. In fact, Tim Sweeney has already stated that Epic games is researching blockchain technology:
Googling this, there’s quite a rumor mill out there. No, Epic doesn’t have any cryptocurrency partners and aren’t in any crypto partnership discussions with anyone. We do read lots of papers and talk to smart people to learn more in anticipation of an eventual intercept.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) January 6, 2019
Sweeney further explained that many members of the Epic Games are “big fans of the decentralized computing tech underlying cryptocurrency." However, he acknowledges that a lot of work is needed, both in terms of volatility and fraud-proofing, before exposing cryptocurrencies to such a broad audience.
A PwC report from August also corroborates the narrative of a secret Fortnite cryptocurrency under development. According to the study, 84% of the companies surveyed are actively involved with blockchain technology.
Others referenced the fact that Fornite had previously activated cross-platforming by “mistake," only to become the standard afterwards. While this could just be a confidence, it could be the case that Epic Games was indeed testing the terrain.
Fortnite boasts nearly 80 million players and was mostly responsible for the $3 billion in profit reported by Epic Games.