Hey there all my little kittens! Welcome back as I once again get up on my Litter Box to yowl about something wrong in the gaming community… and this time it is something that affects those who play Fortnite. So this is something that our esteemed leader in All Things Geek, Kevin Coryell, has experienced before he had to run off to get some radiation to treat his cancer and we ended up having a discussion about what happened and why so many people are pissed about it.
To begin with, let’s quote an old 70’s song and “What we gonna do right here is go back….way back…back into time” though this time we don’t have to go back as far as the caveman but instead we have to go back just a few months to April just around Easter time this year. They were releasing easter themed skins in Fortnite and in an advertisement for this they mentioned that there would be six bunny-themed skins coming to the item shop. However, if you looked at the graphics, only five skins were seen. Was this just a counting mistake? Some thought so but it turned out around the same time that data miners had found what looked like a futuristic bunny skin in the files of an update that was named Gemini. This skin is pictured here and as you can see it had a blue and white version and then if you did some challenges you could unlock the red and black version. This skin was also supposed to have a holographic Pick Axe and a matching back bling both of which had a secondary color scheme to match both forms. The back bling came with Gemini.
So far, nothing seems out of sorts in this story but then Easter came and went and no Gemini skin came into the shop. Everyday Youtube videos came out for the shop with everyone figuring that it would come out any day… and every day the fans of this skin who were many were disappointed. Lots of people said this was the best skin to come out in Season 9, the only problem is it never showed up. People thought maybe because it was named Gemini it could come out during the time of year where the Gemini star sign reigned in the Zodiak; however, that time also came and went with no sign of the skin.
Eventually, it came to light that the skin everyone wanted and was constantly talking about was going to get a facelift. The supposed reason that many pointed out was that in another Battle Royale game called Paladins (from the same studio that’s better known for Smite) there was a skin called Raeve Maeve pictured here who had an uncanny resemblance to Gemini. Though as many fans of Gemini pointed out there are some huge differences such as Raeve Maeve being a Cat and Gemini being a bunny. Maeve having a trench coat look and tail while Gemini had a form-fitting spacesuit. Gemini also had the two color schemes for the skin and I don’t think Maeve did and neither of those color combos was the same as Maeve’s.
Another thing that a lot of people were swift to point out is that in the past Epic Games hadn’t backed down from making skins that were similar to other skins or looks. I mean they have an Angel one that looks like mercy from Overwatch, one of their other skins looks like Symmetra. They also had a John Wick look-alike skin before they put out the official one that came with the John Wick 3 collaboration. And this is only a small sampling of some of the skins that are close to others and lets not even get into how often Epic Games is being called out for stealing dance moves to become emotes without giving credit where it’s due or even financial compensation as that opens up another huge can of worms but also just goes to show they haven’t shied away from this type of thing in the past so why start now?
So, to the right, is a picture of the new Gemini skin which was renamed Astro Assassin. As you can see from the picture Astro Assassin still has Gemini’s skin-tight bodysuit and two color schemes that can be used. Astro Assassin also comes with the Cryo bunny back bling that was supposed to come with Gemini. Tons of people hated this. The backlash on this change was swift and loud and then when the time came around a few weeks ago the skin that was released was the one most people hated. Astro Assassin was not fixed to Gemini and there was a backlash on Twitter and other social media outlets about how Epic Games was ignoring the gamers that made the game a hit in the first place. Epic Games were said to be deaf to its fans even though in the past they had done things to appease these same gamers (nerfing the mechs, removing planes, removing the infinity sword, un-vaulting the drum gun after a voting event). So where they had listened to the fans before, in this case, the screams seemed to fall upon deaf ears. Yet the problems with this skin were nowhere near done.
You see a lot of people had saved up their V-Bucks to buy Astro Assassin, even though they thought it was a second rate Gemini. At least it would still have two colors and the red and black still looked good even if people didn’t like the new helmet. When the skin came to the shop however it wasn’t showing the red and black color when usually if there is a second color. Surely though there was a second color to the skin though because when you looked at the back bling it came up with a thing in the corner saying 1of2 then it would blink and say 2of2 and Complete Gemini Challenges as seen in the picture to the left. The weird thing is it never changed up colors when it flipped from 1 to 2 and normally it would. Lots of people thought this was just a glitch because the challenges were listed so the shop was probably just glitching and not showing the second style. Kevin and many others bought this skin thinking this was a glitch and that like previous skins once bought the challenges would appear. They spent 1,500 V-Bucks which is basically equivalent to 15 dollars in real-world money to get this skin thinking they would be getting two styles. The problem became that the Red and Black style and the Gemini Challenges never came. The Astro Assassin skin had been nerfed even more than Gemini had been. From a great skin to an ok skin and then from two styles to one style.
Epic Games looked even worse when they had been working on a collaboration with IT Chapter 2 that was to be released the day or two after Astro Assassin. There had been red balloons rising from the sewers in the game and when they were popped you would hear a creepy laugh similar to Pennywise from the movie. Lots of people were looking forward to a Pennywise skin showing up in the shop or a Pennywise Dance emote. It wasn’t so far fetched of a wish, seeing as during the John Wick crossover they gave us a John Wick skin, during an Avengers Endgame Crossover they gave us both a Black Widow and a Star-Lord skin, there was even a crossover with Stranger Things where we got a Demogorgon skin. Suddenly though, the balloons disappeared and no skins or emotes for IT came to the shop. This let down, following so close to the disappointment with Astro Assassin, was more than many could stand and people really started to voice their disappointment and outrage.
Still Epic says nothing about the reasons why Astro Assassin was changed. They have not offered refunds for her as they did when they changed the Toy Soldier skins after they made changes to them. They haven’t changed the cost to be less and refunded any V-Bucks as they have done when other things ended up overpriced. So far nothing has been done or said to appease the player base. There is hope that if enough people speak out that maybe the red and black style could be brought in or maybe even Gemini brought back. I hope that can succeed because honestly what Epic did here sucks big time. There is a twitter account for Gemini called Gemini Spacebunny (@GSpacebunny) who has started a petition to try and bring back Gemini. If you would like to see Gemini come back and Astro Assassin maybe get her and the red and black as extra styles then follow this link (http://chng.it/9xQ7fyMMxx ) and sign the petition. I truly hope that it succeeds!
Let your voices be heard gamers! Until next time remember your Kitten loves you all! Also, just so you know, I’m not just saying we should bring back a bunny so this kitty can chase her…really I’m not! *cough cough*