Subscribe to the Layer newsletter

Get the latest from the world of licensed IP in games. Subscribe to the Layer newsletter.

Fantastic! Thanks for signing up!
Oops! Something went wrong, please try again.
🎉 We’re excited to announce our partnership with Sanlo - making $200M available for developers to finance IP licensing! 🎉    Read more.
Brands and IP licensors
About Us
Log in

Nike’s Fortnite integration is a slam dunk for navigating Web3 PR challenges

Industry Commentary

When Nike released a teaser video for its Airphoria collaboration with Fortnite back in June, the appearance of the logo for its Web3 platform, ‘.SWOOSH’, caused a lot of speculation amongst Web3 enthusiasts and gamers. Could NFTs be making their way into Fortnite? What if Nike was on its own video game on a blockchain-based platform in collaboration with Epic? Or, maybe this collaboration would make Fortnite items interoperable with .SWOOSH? 

None of these rumors came to fruition. The activation itself was nothing more than a virtual sneaker hunt in a Nike-themed experience in Fortnite’s Creative Mode (albeit a very impressive one!). Epic was quick to shoot down any suggestions that NFTs might appear in Fortnite, and even issued statements to publications such as CryptoDaily that reported on these rumours, asking them to provide clarification with an additional edit. As a statement from Epic reads:

“Epic's partnership with Nike and the launch of 'Airphoria' is one of many future collaborations enabling players to opt in to connecting their online presence across ecosystems. This is all part of a larger effort to bring Nike's Air Max brand into the world of Fortnite with cosmetics, Fortnite islands, and account linking between Nike and Epic, introducing Nike .SWOOSH achievement badges for players who link accounts.

The connection between Fortnite and Nike doesn't integrate any NFTs or digital item trading marketplaces into the Fortnite world or its economy. Items recognized across these two ecosystems are purely for the enjoyment of the purchaser, and aren't tradeable, transferrable, or sellable, as has always been the case in the Fortnite economy.”

As the statement highlights, Fortnite players could link their Epic accounts with their Nike accounts to unlock a Swoosh achievement badge, which is where things get complicated. .SWOOSH is a Web3 platform built on blockchain technology. That means, technically, any sort of achievement or ‘digital collectible’ as Nike prefers to call them, is an NFT.

Of course, it makes perfect sense why Nike and Epic would want to stay as far away as possible from the NFT wording. Historically, NFT integrations into video games have been met with significant player backlash, with the backlash to Stalker 2 and Team 17’s Worms NFT projects being so severe that they were eventually cancelled.


Read the episode transcript here

Get the latest from the world of licensed IP in games.
Subscribe to the Layer newsletter.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.