The latest batch of cosmetics for sale in Fortnite’s item shop seems to feature a familiar furry face. For 1000 V-Bucks, players can get Gunner, a wearable pet that looks awfully similar to Bonesy, a wearable pet from season 6.
Bonesy was one of the first pets Epic released for Fortnite, as part of the season 6 battle pass. The basic version was tan, with unlockable styles that could make the dog gray or dark brown. While riding the train last night, I saw that Epic tweeted a new pet, Gunner, available in the item store. I zoomed around the image for a good five minutes, trying to figure out how it wasn’t Bonesy. As I got cell service long enough to read the Twitter comments, I saw that some of them were pointing out that Gunner, unlike Bonesy, is apparently wearing a hood. There’s also a small white stamp on Gunner’s bandana, and Gunner’s eyes are blue, where Bonesy’s are brown.
Gunner and Bonesy are...different, technically speaking. But 1000 V-Bucks (that’s 50 more than the whole season 10 battle pass) for a difference you’d only notice if you squint seems like a lot. “You can barely notice the mask,” one Twitter user wrote. “Why would I pay 1,000 for something that looks like something from a Battle Pass? Yeah no thanks,” wrote another. Another wrote, “1000 vbucks for a copy of Bonesy, nice.”
Reddit users are equally baffled. “You can barely tell it’s a different style because the yellow is the same colour as his fur,” wrote one. Another wrote, “Nobody in their right mind is paying 1000 for Bonesy 2.”
As Eurogamer pointed out, Epic faced similar backlash in June with the Summer Drift skin, a 1500 V-Buck restyle of the Drift skin available in season 5’s battle pass. At the time, fans took issue with Epic selling what felt like styles for a battle pass-only skin in the item shop, which the company had previously said wouldn’t happen: the in-game FAQ for the battle pass calls its items “exclusive in game rewards...that will not be obtainable again.” Summer Drift at least looked notably different, especially from afar, but some players are worried ostensible reskins of battle pass loot are becoming an item shop trend. “It started with Summer Drift but people mocked those who said it’s a slippery slope. If people are really ok with the criteria of ‘not identical’ then I bet in a month we’ll see a wave of BP restyles hit the item shop,” wrote one Reddit user.
Here’s one potential silver lining: the players who missed out on Bonesy in the season 6 battle pass might now have a kind of second chance with Gunner, and 1000 V-Bucks isn’t out of line for an Epic-rarity item. But the similarity to Bonesy makes Gunner pretty unappealing for people who already own the original dog. Plus, if you care about Fortnite’s cosmetics, it’s a bit disheartening to see something so similar to a supposedly exclusive battle pass item for sale.
Update 3:19pm— An Epic spokesperson reached out to Kotaku with the following statement:
We should not have released the Gunner Pet and apologize for doing so.
Within the next couple of days, all purchases of Gunner will be refunded for the full amount of 1000 V-bucks as well as an additional 200 V-bucks and the Pet will be removed from the Locker.
Anyone who purchased Gunner and refunds it prior to this make-good will instead receive 200 V-bucks and an additional refund token that can be put towards any eligible items that were purchased within the past 30 days.