An image shows two characters dressed as plague doctors from Fortnite.

Picture: Epic Video games / Kotaku

Yesterday, after 1,410 days (or 3 years and 10 months) the Grim Drugs beauty set—full with the favored Plague Physician pores and skin—returned to Fortnite’s in-game retailer, letting gamers purchase it for the primary time because the begin of the covid-19 pandemic. And lots of imagine it was the pandemic itself that saved the plague-themed objects and skins out of the sport for such an extended time period.

I doubt I would like to elucidate Fortnite to you, however simply so everybody’s on the identical web page: Epic’s Fortnite is a free-to-play battle royale PVP shooter obtainable on almost each fashionable platform on the market. It helps crossplay throughout all of them and for the previous few years has been one of the standard video games on the planet because it continues to increase and embrace extra characters from different franchises, like Star Wars, Dragonball Z, and Road Fighter.

However Fortnite additionally has loads of its personal authentic skins and beauty objects too, like Peely and the beforehand talked about Plague Physician. However till yesterday, these plague-related objects hadn’t appeared within the sport since March 1, 2019, making them extraordinarily uncommon, as the one individuals who may use them have been people who purchased them again after they have been final obtainable. In the meantime, most different skins seem time and again within the retailer each few weeks or months.

Followers had theorized that the Grim Drugs beauty set had been blacklisted and retired by Epic because of the covid-19 pandemic. This is smart, as together with these skins throughout the peak of the lethal pandemic that has killed over 6 million folks worldwide as of January 2023 would have been a foul look.

The working theory is that the skin popped up in the store on March 1, 2019. Then before it could appear again in the store, covid-19 was detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and ultimately unfold around the globe, formally turning into a pandemic in response to the World Well being Group on March 11, 2020. It’s not unreasonable that Epic noticed this occurring and determined to drag the plague-themed objects from the shop’s rotation so as to keep away from any controversy.

The factor is, Epic has by no means formally confirmed this idea at any level. Kotaku has reached out in regards to the pores and skin and the lengthy hole in time between it displaying up, however didn’t hear again from the corporate. Nonetheless, even when Epic hasn’t formally confirmed the explanation for the Grim Drugs objects going lacking for almost 4 years, the covid-19 idea doesn’t appear unreasonable to me. And no matter why, many gamers have been excited to see it return, even when solely to make a joke about its lengthy absence. Or to level out that covid-19 continues to be a factor in 2023, which it’s, and it’s nonetheless lethal and harmful, too.

“One among my pals IMMEDIATELY dropped cash into the sport upon getting this notification. He’s been ready because it was final within the store,” tweeted one particular person. “LETS GOOOO! I lastly received PLAGUE!!! I wished him for two years,” tweeted one other participant upon seeing the information of the Plague Physician’s return to Fortnite. After all, there have been different gamers who discovered it humorous all people was excited over the pores and skin, and others who owned it already and have been now unhappy to see their as soon as uncommon pores and skin grow to be widespread as soon as extra.

Personally, I’m not excited in regards to the Grim Drugs skins as I don’t actually like how they appear. And moreover, I solely like to purchase essentially the most cursed and weird skins in Fortnite, like Mr. Meeseeks from Rick and Morty.