Developer Epic Games apologized on Wednesday for releasing a canine cosmetic addition for Fortnite that looked too similar to one players had previously bought. To make up for it, Epic will refund purchases and give players a little extra for their trouble. The move comes after gamers called out Epic for the new Gunner Pet, which looks nearly identical to an earlier doggo cosmetic.
People who bought the Gunner Pet, a cute dog that rides around in players' backpacks during matches, when it was released on Tuesday will receive a refund of 1,000 V-Bucks along with an additional 200 V-Bucks. People who requested a refund before Epic's announcement will get the additional V-Bucks and a reward token for another eligible cosmetic.
"We should not have released the Gunner Pet and apologize for doing so," the developer tweeted.
When Epic tweeted about the Gunner cosmetic on Tuesday, players noticed the dog looked almost exactly like Bonesy, a pet released last year as part of, the game's regular paid-for package of downloadable content. There appear to be only minor differences between the two pet cosmetics, like a logo on Gunner's neckerchief.
Epic's policy for Battle Pass content is that the items will be only obtainable with the Pass. Players can't purchase the skins, pets or other cosmetics separately. In June, a similar situation happened with the release of the Summer Drift skin, which some players said was too similar to a skin released in the Fortnite season 5 Battle Pass.
While a duplicate dog might seem a minor affair, Fortnite is free to play and makes all of its money from these cosmetic additions. Its enormous popularity and gamers' hypersensitivity to being ripped off make any perceived transgression a major PR problem for its developer.