Update: As reported below, Jetpacks are "coming soon" to Fortnite—but Epic Games has now told us they'll land a little later than planned. In the elusive item's place comes the new Hunting Rifle.
"This week’s new item is being changed from the Jetpack to the Hunting Rifle," Epic tells us via email. "We found a last minute design issue with the Jetpack that’s going to delay its launch and we’re working on correcting it... The Jetpack will lift off at a later time. Meanwhile, you’ll be able to enjoy lots of no-scopes with the new Hunting Rifle item and a new, lucky point of interest on the map."
With that, I hadn't realised the proposed jetpack was as far along as it is. It seems we'll find out its purpose soon—is it purely cosmetic, an extension of jump pads, or a fully-fledged transportation tool/air combat facilitator?—but feel free to speculate in the comments south of our original story below.
Think of a compromising situation, a worst-case-scenario type dealio. Got one? Okay, now add a jetpack into that mix. Better, right? If there's a circumstance that jetpacks can't make better I'm yet to hear it.
Fortnite understands this, which I imagine is why jetpacks are "coming soon" to its Battle Royale variation.
At this stage it's unclear when or even how jetpacks will be applied. I grabbed the screenshot above after logging in, and besides boasting a gold background—reserved for legendary items—nothing else is mentioned in the game's launcher. Epic hasn't officially announced anything either, and whether jetpacks will be cosmetic items or have tangible in-game value remains to be seen.
Pockets of players on the game's subreddit have suggested the new tool could be a portable version of the jump pad, while others pine for fully-fledged air-based combat. Naturally, I've my fingers crossed for the latter but I guess time will tell.
I suspect Epic will rely on its official channels to make the reveal whenever it's ready, however we've reached out to the developer in any event. We'll report back as and when we hear back.