Fortnite’s Chapter 2, Season 3 brought a lot of changes to the map, notably dunking most of it underwater. Developer Epic has hinted that the water will recede, and the season trailer showed characters driving vehicles, which hopefully means we’ll be able to ride more than just boats and sharks in the future. While many of the map’s decorative vehicles are gone due to the water, some players have noticed the absence of police cars in particular.
Fortnite’s map used to be littered with police cars, along with other vehicles like trucks, passenger cars, and ice cream trucks. Creative mode featured these vehicles as well, as part of sets of vehicle pre-fabs. While there are still some vehicles on the map after this week’s update, players—the staff of Kotaku included—haven’t been able to find any police cars on the battle royale island. There aren’t any to be found in Creative mode either. According to a Reddit comment, police cars will fall from a junk rift thrown in Creative, but they turn to regular cars when they fall. I tested a dozen junk rifts in Creative mode myself, but I never saw a police car.
In a June 17th Reddit thread, a player noted that police cars had been removed from the game, and a handful of players on Twitter have noticed their absence as well. Players are speculating as to why this might be, with some citing the worldwide protests following Minneapolis police killing George Floyd as a possible reason. The murder sparked broader focus on police brutality, with citizens and lawmakers calling on their cities to defund the police. “I wonder if this is a response to blm [Black Lives Matter],” one player wrote on Reddit. A player in another Reddit thread wrote, “Probably related with [sic] the protests in America.” “Fortnite defunded the police,” another wrote in one thread, while in another thread a player wrote, “Police were abolished in the Fortnite canon.”
Other players speculated that police cars were removed to prevent players from shooting from them if vehicles become drivable. “I’m guessing they don’t want us eliminating players using a police car,” wrote one player. Another wrote, “Later in the season people would be able to drive cars and if someone was shooting you from a police car (if they can do that) that’s a bad thing and it would cause all sorts of controversy.”
Epic declined to comment.
Some players are upset about the change. Multiple players expressed frustration that the removal of police cars would affect their Creative maps and game modes. Others complained that politics and political statements have no place in Fortnite, while others disapproved of the perceived anti-cop message.
Again, plenty of other vehicles have disappeared from Fortnite’s map, at least for the time being. We have a few more weeks at least before we find out if Fortnite will get drivable vehicles and, if so, which ones will return to the game. In the meantime, little is more fun in Fortnite than speculating wildly, and if that speculation gets more people considering the role police play in our communities, to me, that’s an added bonus.
Looking for ways to advocate for black lives? Check out this list of resources by our sister site Lifehacker for ways to get involved.