Fortnite is hugely successful video games and shares a big fan base crossover with American Football.
NFL stars themselves are big fans of playing the game, where 100 people drop onto an island and shoot each other until just one is left standing.
So allowing players in Fortnite to dress up their in-game avatars in the kits of their favourite NFL team was a sure-fire money-maker – as was allowing them to further customise these avatars with the jersey number of any star player.
So what could go wrong?
People. That’s what could go wrong.
It didn’t take long for individuals in the Fortnite community to start getting creative with their customisations choices, like a Buffalo Bills player with OJ Simpson’s famous No 32 on his shirt running round the map stabbing people with a knife.
Avatars of Colin Kaepernick, who has been effectively kept out of a job by NFL owners since he started his kneeling protest against the treatment of black Americans, have been spotted using the ‘take-a-knee’ emote.
Fans have given former quarterback Michael Vick, who was imprisoned for his part in organised dog-fighting, a canine companion. And so on and so forth.
The NFL skins were pulled from the Fortnite store soon after release, presumably after the bigwigs at the league got wind of what their product was being associated with.
Epic Games, makers of Fortnite, have said they will return – but I expect that if they do it will be with a lot more restrictions.
This is why video games fans can’t have nice things. Although some may question whether the NFL associating itself with a game where players shoot each other was a good idea in the first place.
ANOTHER example of a nice idea being completely ruined by the mentality of the mob arose in Battlefield 1 the other week.
At 11am on November the 11th, players in the First World War shooter decided to mark Remembrance Sunday with a ceasefire and a two-minute silence.
A gamer posted a video on reddit of the opposing forces ceasing fire as the clock struck 11, standing just yards from each of the game’s Gallipoli map.
A fitting tribute you might think. Or as fitting a tribute as could be made by players of a video game where you literally re-enact the Great War’s mass slaughter for enjoyment (and points).
It was all going well enough, apart for the odd bit of tea-bagging, until a bi-plane strafed the beach and mowed the British troops down with its machine guns.
“Shoot that piece of sh** out of the sky”, someone typed in group chat. Then the person making the video clip was stabbed in the back by a Turkish assault trooper.
It was a sobering analogy for life. The majority of people trying to do the right thing before a couple of idiots ruin it for everyone.
THE last ever Halo 5 Championship Series Finals took place last weekend – and it was fitting that it ended with TOX Gaming as winners.
TOX started the Halo 5 era as top dogs, first under the name Counterlogic Gaming and then as OpTic Gaming. But in recent times they had been overthrown by Splyce, a team of supremely talented and arrogant teenagers.
Splyce were winning tournaments with ease, showing little class as they boasted about how they didn’t practice and didn’t really care.
Karma dictated that their lack of practice caught up with them in Atlanta at the weekend and they failed to even make the top three.
TOX, who had never finished outside the top two of any Halo tournament, cruised to a pair of 4-0 wins over Team Reciprocity in the final to clinch the trophy and the $120,000 prize cheque.
What happens to Halo as an e-sport now remains to be seen? Now that the HCS is over it will be up to the community to keep the game alive until 343 Industries release the long-awaited sequel, Halo Infinite.
Either way, TOX can say farewell to an era they dominated in style.