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Published: October 9, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • The multinational energy conglomerate is apparently financing Twitch Fortnite streamers
  • It allegedly aims to make younger audiences more connected to Shell’s energy plans
  • This sparked massive outrage in the Fortnite community

Shell has been blamed for using Fortnite and related youth influencers to promote fossil fuels to a younger generation.

Shell Makes Unexpected Collaboration Partners

When it comes to video game titles collaborating with other franchises, one will quickly think about Fortnite. The popular battle royal shooter has had dozens of such projects with other games, films, animes, and many more. However, recent news of Fortnite’s new collaboration sparked a lot of controversy online.

The “Ultimate Road Trips” collaboration was recently announced, the project being powered by Shell plc, the British multinational oil and gas corporation. It is the second largest investor-owned oil and gas company in the world by revenue, as well as one of the largest companies of any industry in the world.

Over the decades, Shell has been involved in many scandals, among which the company allegedly ignored climate change statistics as early as the 1980s, and by this significantly contributed to global CO2 emissions. With Shell having such a controversial reputation, it was no surprise that many Fortnite fans were confused when the collaboration was brought to light in the past few days.

It seems that collaboration is a part of a bigger campaign by Shell to appeal to a younger audience via social media platforms like TikTok, Twitch, Instagram, and YouTube. According to a recent report by Ilana Berger, the energy corporation apparently sponsored various Twitch channels to promote its products. The article specifically calls out Twitch streamers brookeab, Astrobounder, Punisher, NateHill, Chica, and Grady_Rains among the many that were allegedly being sponsored by Shell.

Interestingly, Shell posted a trailer for the collaboration on their YouTube channel way back in late July. However, it has been set to hidden, despite having more than 2 million views on it. It’s not known if this has been done recently in response to the backlash that’s been stirred up in the Fortnite community, or if it’s an older setting. At the end of the video, one can see a small disclaimer at the bottom right that reads “This is not sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Epic Games, INC,” suggesting that the Fortnite developers have nothing to do with Shell’s advertisement campaign.

Regardless of the actual reason, many fans took the opportunity to criticize or mock the collaboration, the comment section under the video sporting many such sentences in recent days. “Predictable results of Boomer millionaires trying to appeal to younger gamers, expecting them to fully ignore the climate catastrophes on they caused. Embarrassing,” one comment reads. “Drop in this season and complete the objective: “Do irreparable damage do the environment with Shell”,” another viewer joked. There were also some who said the collaboration was only an attempt to make people talk about Shell in an attempt to drive online engagement up.

If that was the main reason for Shell’s financing of Fortnite content, then it already seems to have worked.

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