In an AMA on the Fortnite: Battle Royale subreddit, developer Epic Games said that they were exploring the possibility of adding a respawn system to the game. While it appeared at the time that such a feature was still in its early stages, players have recently discovered evidence that Fortnite may be getting a respawn system much sooner than expected.
Since Fortnite Season 8 started, inquisitive players have been spotting some peculiar-looking vans around the map. You can see them for yourself by loading into a playground match and spawning over Retail Row, where one is located in the south side of The Block. The vans appear to be pretty normal, except for a device on top of them that shows a hologram of a player character. Getting too close to a van causes them to despawn, but there’s no denying that they are indeed there.
Renown Fortnite leaker FortTory dug through the game files once word of the mysterious vans spread, and he found that the vehicle is being referred to as a ‘Second Chance Van.’
Second Chance Van….
Respawn coming to FORTNITE?! pic.twitter.com/qtoSpT0VyK
— FortTory – Fortnite Leaks & News (@FortTory) February 28, 2019
That by itself set off a lot of sirens, but what’s interesting is that this purported respawn system mimics that of Fortnite’s rival battle royale game, Apex Legends.
Unlike in Fortnite, where a player gets fully eliminated once their character is killed, Apex Legends lets players respawn a completely dead teammate at certain stations scattered around the map. From there, previously-eliminated players can drop back in and gear up to rejoin the fight.
Fortnite’s Second Chance Vans seem to follow a concept that is very similar to Apex’s respawn system. The fact that Season 8 also introduced a ping system to Fortnite that is similar to that of Apex’s shows that Epic is willing to learn from its game’s rival.
It’s a sound decision though, especially when considering that those two systems have been instrumental in Apex gaining enough popularity to possibly challenge Fortnite in the short time since its February 4 release.
While Epic has remained mum about the progress of Fortnite’s own respawn system, the fact that it already has a render and data files that we can see suggest that it may go live sooner than what most would think.