There always seems to be a catch when something is given away for free, and Fortnite‘s free Original Pickaxe is no exception, seeing as players will need to provide their credit card information to get one for some reason. Fortnite has given players plenty of free items in the past without requiring any personal information, so it seems a bit weird that Epic Games would as for credit card info this time around.
On November 2, Epic announced that Fortnite would be arriving on next-gen consoles with some serious graphical upgrades. In the spirit of remembering Fortnite’s past achievements, Epic announced that players would have the opportunity to redeem the free Original Pickaxe which is also known as the Default Pickaxe from the first season of Fortnite. While the release date for said pickaxe was not announced, players were made aware that they would only have until January 15, 2021 to redeem the OG Pickaxe.
Today, the Original Pickaxe hit the item shop along with the previously leaked OG skin sets. However, the OG Pickaxe is not gifted to players upon logging in like previous free items. Instead, it is listed under the Limited Time Offers section of the item shop, which usually houses bundles that can only be purchased with real money. When players redeem the OG Pickaxe, they are required to purchase the item from their console’s store or the Epic Games Store on PC. When tested on the PS4, the player was required to enter their credit card information regardless of the item having a total cost of $0.
With over half of Fortnite’s player base being between the ages of 10 and 12, it’s unlikely that they will have their own credit card and will have to use their parents if they intend to redeem the OG Pickaxe. It’s hard not to think back to the popular 2018 meme that fictionalized children stealing their parents’ credit cards to buy V-Bucks. Most platforms have the option to save credit card information for future use, and this one-time free redemption of the OG Pickaxe could lead to accidental or intentional purchases in the future. While Epic Games may not have malicious intent when requiring the Pickaxe to be redeemed through the system’s store, it does raise the question as to why the developer wouldn’t distribute the item the same way it has in the past.
It’s still cool that Fortnite continues to bring parts of its history from the dead as many players had assumed the OG Pickaxe wouldn’t make its return. The same goes for the purchasable OG Default skins, which are now obtainable by using V-Bucks in the item shop. Hopefully, Fortnite‘s weird decision to make the OG Pickaxe part of the Limited Time Offers doesn’t lead to malicious purchases in the future.