According to themedia The Verge, it appears that Epic Games intends to work with creators to get players to officially reproduce their popular dance moves in Fortnite – rather than simply copying them to sell more expressions and skins to the player’s game avatar. But actor and dancer Ana Coto says Epic’s upcoming Freewheelin look doesn’t praise her eerie, similar dance moves and doesn’t praise her umbilical cord, glasses and ice-skiing skin – yet Epic is unlikely to be unaware of her contribution.
Above, the crazy, original dance by Coco, which not only garnered 15.7 million views on TikTok, but also inspired BuzzFeed, NBC News and Digital Trends to write profiles for Coto, praising her for boosting sales of roller-skating shoes and rekindling the hobby. (Google Trends shows that the craze hasn’t stopped yet.) )
Since then, Coto has been viewed more than that on other videos, but every article about Coto makes it clear that the viral show is. In other words, Epic Games seems to know exactly what it’s doing.
Curiously, Epic is not going to avoid the bad PR it’s facing in some way. Just last month, Fortnite officially endorsed Renegade’s creator. Renegade is another popular network of TikTok dances, created by Atlanta teenager Jalaiah Harmon. Epic held an official TikTok dance competition, where the winner was found a few days ago and publicly praised him:
Technically, Epic still has time to work with Coto — the new Freewheelin emoji hasn’t been released yet, so the company can still credit it to Coto. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. In the upcoming release, Renegade was spotted two weeks ago, but Coto told The Verge that Epic hasn’t spoken to her yet. Epic declined to comment.
Still, it’s unclear whether Epic copied Coto’s dance, or whether it was illegal. It’s possible that Coto is simply promoting these moves on skates, rather than creating them himself. So far, even the founders of the dance have had little success in court.