As a creator, once you get a reputation for teasing or referencing something, everything you do goes under a microscope. You can see this happen within the fandom of the classic show Lost, the current Westworld on HBO, or the comics of Grant Morrison. Every fan combs through every single part of these works for references and hints, offering multiple theories that are then built upon by other fans.
In such a climate, a creator has to be careful, because even the most innocent changes can be seen a harbinger of something greater. These posters? If you rearrange them in the right order, they spell out this word! The colors that make up that building when translated into RGB color codes can be rearranged to point towards an upcoming sequel! Everything matters, even if some of it doesn't.
Creators can lean into this, of course. Just today, we saw a Battlefield 5 tease come about from a series of buttons behind specific posters in one level that leads to a room where a series of pipes drip in Morse code, which results in a URL leading to a single message. That's commitment.
Epic Games has already proven that it's equally adept at this craft with all of the hints leading up to Season 4. The slow burn of the comet coming closer to the map was well-done. Players noticed the new addition to the game's skybox, figured out Morse code in controller vibrations, and shared comet sightings later in Season 3. For their meticulous awareness of changes in Fortnite Battle Royale, they were rewarded with Season 4 paying off many theories.
This has primed the Fortnite community to look for other changes. Now every new object and structure is a hint. Everything points to the next patch, or even the next Season of content. Which brings us to a few of the changes in Fortnite Battle Royale's current map.
The Mysterious Hatch
The most recent change that everyone is talking about is a mysterious hatch in Wailing Woods. Just north of the hedge maze, there's a hatch that wasn't a part of the map previously. The hatch itself is invincible and can't be opened, but looking through the windows on it or using the built-in replay, shows there's a bit of depth to the hatch.
Players have compared Fortnite Battle Royale's new hatch to the infamous hatch in Lost. The hatch was a key to the underlying happenings on Lost's island, with numbers on the hatch pointing towards the story's endgame. It was eventually revealed that the hatch opened into a bunker for a secretive organization. Given the importance of that hatch, Fortnite players are expecting the same here. The hatch even has some sort of symbol scratched on one side of it.
The Secret Bases
There are two not-so-secret bases on either side of the map. Many of the skins for Fortnite Season 4 recall either superheroes or G.I. Joe, and it looks like these bases are callbacks to those concepts. On the east side of the map, underneath Lonely Lodge, there's a 70's style superhero/spy organization base. Over in the West, in a mountain near Snobby Shores, there's a corresponding supervillain base, complete with a giant rocket that cannot be destroyed.
Both structures could just be a call back, but players are wondering if they mean something more. There's also an additional bunker underneath one home in Salty Springs. Who is or was watching the combatants of this Battle Royale?
The Giant Footprint
One house near Snobby Shores has been completely destroyed, leaving only a giant dinosaur-like footprint. Players assumed that this pointed to something related to giant monsters or dinosaurs early on, but others noted the camera rig nearby. Combined with the new Risky Reels drive-in theater and the new movie set in Moisty Mire, players are now surmising that the Season is in fact, movie-themed, not superhero-themed.
Adding credence to this idea, the current Save the World event is called Blockbuster. As in, "Summer Blockbuster".
"Start a movie marathon in Save the World’s latest questline, Blockbuster! Part 1 starts with Five quests and one Landmark Mission. Ray has gone missing and no one knows where she is. With the help of Spitfire and Lok, investigate the comet and gear up to recruit a team of superheroes. Find Ray and bring her back home!" says the recent patch notes.
The movie set in Moisty Mire has actually expanded a bit in the most recent patch.
The Expansion of Dusty Divot
After the meteor hit at the beginning of Season 4, Dusty Divot was replaced with a giant crater. In the center of that crater was the beginnings of some sort of research base, focused heavily around what was left of the meteor itself. The station looked to be a callback to SHIELD's facility around Mjolnir in the first Thor film.
Like Moisty Mire's movie set, Dusty Divot's research base has evolved in Week 2. The base is clearly changed, with new vehicles in certain spots and a roof over the central structure. (A clearer picture is available here, reproduced above.) It's possible that the base could continue to grow and change throughout the season, building to something like the comet in Season 3.
One theory about this expansion relates to rewards players are getting from completing Weekly Challenges. The final skin of this Season's Battle Pass is Omega, a sleek black suit with some glowing parts. There's also a fully-upgraded version of the Omega suit. Completing the Challenges offers new unlockable loading screens, one of which is available, while another has been datamined already.
Reddit user Hexecutioner1 found details for both loading screens. The first is called "Quiet on the Set!", showing various characters in the Fortnite at the new Moisty mire movie set when parts of the meteor came crashing down. The week 2 image is called "At Last... I Am Free", showing a fully-upgraded Omega busting out of the prison location, which was half-destroyed by the meteor. The image description has a quote, "I will reclaim my power. I will gather my allies. I will have my vengeance." (Coordinates in the image likely point to another free Battle Pass tier if you finish all of Week 2's Challenges.)
Folks believe that Omega will be the focus of later loading screens, building a story around the character. One Reddit user has theorized that the Dusty Divot expansion is building towards a second character called Alpha, who would fight against Omega. Alternatively, whatever's in the meteor will be stolen by Omega in his plan for vengeance. Either way, it looks like Omega will be playing a bigger part moving forward this season.
How many of these are actual hints at something in Fortnite Battle Royale's future? How many are simply changes that Epic Games art team made for fun? The current season is set to conclude on July 11, 2018, so there's plenty of time for more changes, more teases, and more theories from fans. Let's see how many of these ones pan out.