As gaming trends continue to cycle on, it’s important for those who aren’t as current to continuously do what they can to remain popular. Case and point is the ambitious crossover event Fortnite is undertaking with the NBA, aptly titled The Crossover. But why is the collaboration significant for the rest of gaming and entertainment?
What is The Crossover?
High-profile collabs seem to be Fortnite’s wheelhouse lately and the latest, a series of skins and locker room bundles based on top NBA players show just why they are focusing on them. Outfits and skins will be customizable with various NBA team logos and there will also be a flourish of basketball if you encounter someone else wearing an NBA skin.
The crossover event will launch around the time the NBA Playoffs will kick off, which is clever marketing from Epic Games. By positioning their tie-in around the time of the sporting fixture, maximum coverage can be attained, a buzz can be created, and more people may be likely to engage with Fortnite.
Why are Entertainment Collabs Important?
Fortnite hasn’t just been focusing on sports stars for its collaborations, however. The list of the highest-earning collaborations includes music artists Travis Scott, Drake, and Marshmello, as well as Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics, and John Wick. Fortnite also collaborated with the NFL, which gives precedent for how the NBA collab might be received.
Collabs with other media franchises are important across a range of industries. It strengthens fanbases, allows more potential customers to get involved, and creates partnerships that could end up being fruitful. We can see time and again how popular these crossovers across entertainment are and how they could reinvigorate franchises or help them reinvent themselves.
Gaming is full of collaborations that help sell both franchises and provoke conversation around the game’s launch. Minecraft, for instance, collaborated with Halo and Skyrim. By using themed packs based on other games, Minecraft could develop more fans and introduce more people to the unique new way of gaming. Similarly, a Pokémon trainer was a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Both franchises are owned by Nintendo, so the crossover made sense.
— IGN (@IGN) October 4, 2018
Other forms of online entertainment also utilize a crossover or collaboration to invigorate fans. As the online casino site Casushi shows, many non-casino titles have been adapted to create casino games. Hasbro’s Monopoly board game has been transformed into an online casino game for Monopoly Live, which challenges players to spin the Monopoly-themed wheel in a game of chance. Similarly, the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire casino games use the nerve-wracking tension of the gameshow to infuse the multiple-choice aspects and lifelines with slot gameplay.
Television is also famed for its crossover events, which almost always see a rise in viewers. Famous ones include The Simpsons and Family Guy – who share a similar audience – and Supernatural and Scooby-Doo – who don’t share a similar audience. Movies have also exploited crossover events including Freddy vs Jason, Alien vs Predator, and Batman vs Superman.
Crossover events are important across the industry. Whether this is bringing a well-known face or name to a product, inserting someone in a game from another franchise, or blending two TV shows together, crossovers can help both parties in the collaboration flourish.