Season 6 teaser image shows 'Fortnite' just got a lot furrier
Season 6 of the popular "Battle Royale" shooter Fortnite is launching September 25, this Thursday, and for the second season in a row, the first teaser image released by Epic Games features a new character wearing an animal mask, in this case, a Deadmau5-esque DJ wearing a llama mask, after the Season 5 teaser featured a kabuki-inspired fox mask teaser.
The next Season 6 teaser image featured a cowgirl (the "Wild West" type of cowgirl, not the furry type, unfortunately), but it wasn't until the third and final teaser image, that things got really furry with an apparent werewolf character featured, seen above.
Update: The llama DJ is named DJ Yonder and is the tier 1 reward for the Season 6 Battle Pass; the werewolf is named Dire and is the tier 100 reward, and features further unlockable styles (he is unlocked as a human but most players will already have enough experience points reaching tier 100 to unlock his werewolf form when he is unlocked). Season 6 is also introducing Pets that players can carry on their back to the game; a dog, chameleon and baby dragon will all be unlockable in the pass.
Though Fortnite is not inherently a furry game in its conception, it does feature a lot of extra furry content.
Fortnite is free to play (a major factor in its ongoing popularity), and the furry content comes in the form of player "skins" and other cosmetic enhancements. These are where the game makes its money, for although there are some free cosmetics, all skins beyond the original 8 randomly selected "default" skins have to either be bought directly from the game's Item Shop, or unlocked using the Battle Pass, which also has to be bought; each "season" brings with it a new Battle Pass with new unlockables. Furthermore, unlike the Item Shop skins, which can return to the store at a later date, once the season is over, those skins (and other unlockable items from that season) are no longer available. Meaning this article is coming a little late if you wanted to play as Drift, the guy with the fox mask teased at the beginning of season 5.
However, Drift was unusual for the furrier skins in that he appeared in the Battle Pass; most of the skins featuring furry aspects are Item Shop skins. It should be noted that all but one of the "furry" skins featured on Fortnite are not technically "furry" in the sense that they are anthropomorphic animals, but are human characters wearing animal themed costumes or even partial fursuits, which means that they may be considered "furry" in the sense that they are themselves furry fans. The one exception that could be considered an actual anthropomorphic animal (at least until the just-revealed werewolf) is the Leviathan skin, a fish controlling a human like body suit.
However, perhaps the most iconic "furry" skin is the Cuddle Team Leader (who is far and away the most common skin to turn up on e621, with 21 works out of the 38 featuring Fortnite as a tag), a female skin wearing a bright pink partial bear fursuit featuring a broken heart symbol on its stomach and what appears to be a white scar over one (slightly crossed) eye. It was originally released on Valentine's Day, but its holiday-themed origins have been mostly forgotten. It features in the only loading screen all players occasionally get (loading screens are otherwise another unlockable Battle Pass item), and was also featured prominently in the Season 5 "storyline" (a series of ten loading screens unlocked by completing weekly challenges that featured Drift, the Cuddle Team Leader and two other Fortnite characters visiting different areas of the Fortnite map). There have been two "recolors" of the Cuddle Team Leader that have also been released; the Fireworks Team Leader, released to celebrate the American Independence Day, and the P.A.N.D.A. Team Leader, which swaps Cuddle's bright pink for giant panda coloration.
The Cuddle Team Leader, when it's available in the Item Shop is considered Legendary, making it one of the more expensive skins. It sells for 2,000 Vbucks, Fortnite's in-game currency. This would be the equivalent of $20 (US) if buying the skin straight up, though there are ways in-game to win Vbucks. The Battle Pass, though initially costing 950 Vbucks, can actually earn players more Vbucks than they started with, though a Legendary skin will probably still cost a few real-world bucks even for a heavily "invested" player. It should be noted that Fortnite is not a pay-to-win game; skins offer no advantage, and it could further be argued a skin like the Cuddle Team Leader is pay-to-lose. Bright pink is hardly a great camo color in a game where stealth can be a deciding factor, and though it has been proven that skins with bigger heads don't actually have a bigger hitbox, they're still a very inviting target for rival snipers.
Besides Drift and the bear suits, other animal costumed skins include the Easter bunnies Rabbit Raider and Bunny Brawler, dinosaurs Rex (another of the skins featured in the Season 5 squad) and Tricera-Ops, a monkey Wukong and the Battle Hound. Also of note is the very popular Brite Bomber (the final member of the Season 5 squad), who seems to be a fan of an alternate version of My Little Pony where the ponies are instead llamas. By now readers might be wondering why llamas, of all animals, keep popping up, but the Loot Llama, a pinata full of useful items for players that gets hidden at random spots across the map in every match, is the mascot for the game, so llamas are literally popping up all the time in Fortnite (and even occasionally in the real world).