Virtual celebrity Guggimon has slowly been implanting himself in the internet’s collective mind, pulling off collaborations with the likes of Gucci and Rico Nasty – and now, he’s even worked his way into Fortnite.
With previous crossovers ranging from Star Wars to Marvel and even The Walking Dead, Epic Games’ hit battle royale Fortnite is no stranger to high-profile collaborations. But the latest season treads new ground with the inclusion of ‘virtual celebrities’.
Appearing in the Battle Pass alongside pop culture icons Superman and Rick Sanchez is Guggimon, an animated influencer who’s racked up over 2 million followers on TikTok and given his likeness to limited-edition toys that sell out in minutes.
He’s the first virtual influencer to appear in Fortnite, which is a huge deal for Superplastic, the company that created Guggimon. But how did the character end up in this season’s lineup?
Epic Games are “massive fans” of Guggimon
According to Superplastic CEO and Founder Paul Budnitz, Epic Games reached out to ask about a collaboration with the brand after noticing Guggimon’s animated antics on social media – which often go viral.
“It turns out the Epic team are massive fans of Guggimon, and we are addicted to the game,” Paul told Dexerto. “Guggimon and Janky have spent hundreds of hours getting wired on Red Bull and playing Fortnite till 4AM, so when they called it was a total no-brainer.”
When it came to the creative process, Paul had nothing but praise for Epic Games, who happily took their suggestions on board for the skin design and cosmetics of the horror-obsessed Guggimon.
“We were super excited about merging our worlds, and they’re amazing creative people,” he said. “When we wanted Guggimon to drop into the game on a pink skull balloon they said, ‘hell yes’. That’s when we knew it was going to be great.”
Are virtual celebrities like Guggimon the future?
Virtual influencers are becoming more popular on social media, and League of Legends even launched their own digital girl group called K/DA. The internet is (mostly) welcoming animated celebrities with open arms.
Paul thinks this is because characters like Guggimon can do things real influencers can’t, while still keeping a sense of familiarity by interacting with real people through social media.
“Guggimon can smoke a cigar in Times Square while standing on top of a dead whale – which actually happened – and Janky has been blown up, buried in razor blades, or dropped in a Supreme wood chipper hundreds of times,” he explained.
“But at the same time, they influence the real world. They’ve worked as Gucci models along with Dayzee, and at least 50 people have Guggimon tattoos. Fans collect NFTs and limited edition art toys Guggimon designs and that Superplastic produces and sells.”
More Superplastic characters could appear in Fortnite
Of course, we had to ask Paul whether any more of the Superplastic lineup like Janky, Dayzee, or Staxx will join Guggimon in Fortnite. Given Epic’s penchant for mass crossovers, it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
“Knowing Janky, he’d probably agree to do it for a case of Mountain Dew, some chicken nuggets, and $50 in cash,” Paul joked. “Anyway, if something like that were planned I couldn’t tell you, but we are excited about seeing where the relationship goes.”
Fans will have to wait and see if Janky and the rest of Superplastic’s virtual celebrities get a chance to bundle into the Battle Bus, but until then, they’ll no doubt enjoy wreaking havoc as Guggimon across the Fortnite Island.
Beyond that? Guggimon will be collaborating with “top street artists” and starring alongside Janky and Dayzee in an “animated hip hop horror movie” that’s currently slated for release in 2022, showing that this virtual influencer’s global takeover is only just beginning.