Fortnite’s Season 2 is a few days away. While there haven’t been hints of a big in-game event this time around, players are finding clues about what the next season might contain both in-game and in teasers around the real world.
The teases seem to have started over the weekend, with people reporting seeing glitchy Fortnite ads featuring a gold handprint in cities around the world. The ads contain different phone numbers, which play various recorded messages mentioning agents, oil rigs, recruitment, mobilization, and safes.
Though I haven’t seen any of the ads myself, I called a Los Angeles-based number shared on social media and received the same message as several posters on Reddit: “Agency recruitment drive is a go. Happy hunting, agents....Agents, oil rig operation confirmed,” followed by cat sounds and a noise that, to me, sounds similar to the in-game sound of destroying materials.
Update, 2:30pm– I found an ad, with the number I called, on Third Avenue in Brooklyn, thanks to some helpful triangulation from Kotaku EiC Stephen Totilo.
Dotesports reports that, on the official Fortnite Discord, a bot called “The Agency” has appeared. On Reddit, several players report that their accounts were randomly “activated,” though no one seems sure yet what that means.
Developer Epic has been predictably mum about what’s coming in Season 2, with its late January reveal of Season 2's release date including several sections blocked out with gold bars. While at the time this didn’t seem like much, the Fortnite Twitter account has now changed its logo to a gold F. Today, the Twitter account released its first teaser, with a gold handprint and the words “transmission intercepted.”
Many players think this all adds up to hints that gold will be a new material added in Season 2, which might be stronger than Fortnite’s current wood, brick, and metal. There are other gold hints as well: As Eurogamer reports, data miners found a golden skeleton skin named Oro, whose name could relate to the “oil rig operation” referenced in some of the phone messages. Eurogamer also notes that the agency referenced in the messages could refer to ALTER, an agency in Fortnite’s current lore that seems to be fighting EGO, whose outposts are found across Season 1's map.
The most interesting part, to me, is the cat sounds. A few weeks ago, data miners found a sound file called “Agent Meowsicles” that featured some very pleasant music and weird cat noises. When ran through a spectrogram, the image showed cats and fish. While I’d like to believe this means Season 2 will somehow relate to the musical Cats, no one is yet sure how the cats tie into the rest of the teasers.
Fortnite’s Season 1 hasn’t had a notable build-up to an end-of-season event as we’ve seen in the past. Epic has taken a new tack with information in Season 1, releasing very few patch notes and preferring to let players sort out changes for themselves. This also isn’t the first time Fortnite teases have filtered out into the real world: the lead-up to Season 5 included the in-game fast-food mascot Durr Burger appearing in a desert in California. Season 2 starts this Thursday, February 20, so we only have a few days left to indulge in the greatest of Fortnite side activities: speculating wildly.
Update, 7:26pm—When I logged into the game just now I got a weird glitchy screen featuring a gold character in a mask. It did a good job scaring the crap out of me, so that’s fun.