In February 2023, Fortnite stirred up some drama by adding a new spray titled Hamster Cabbie. This spray features a little mischievous-looking hamster character pulling a simple crossed-arms pose. However, it wasn’t long before fans of Overwatch 2 started to notice something extremely suspicious regarding the artwork of this spray.
Hamster Cabbie appeared to be a complete trace over from a spray of Hammond, Overwatch 2’s hamster character known for piloting a ball-shaped mech as the Tank Hero ‘Wrecking Ball’. While some took this as a teaser of a potential crossover collaboration between the two games, this does not seem like the case. This is due to Fortnite commissioning individual artists for many of their in-game sprays and loading screens, so this was likely a move pulled on the artist’s behalf without Fortnite’s knowledge.
The Hamster Cabbie spray has since been updated with new artwork that holds a similar shape to the original. Still, it is original enough in terms of pose and positioning not to be another traced piece. A comparison of this update can be viewed below in a post by trusted Overwatch leaks and news outlet OWCavalry:
Unfortunately, Overwatch fans still have a bone to pick with Hamster Cabbie, as even in its latest form, it still looks like Hammond –more specifically, his Junker and Mayham skins. It’s difficult to deny the similarities here, with these skins for Hammond involving a blue (Junker) or red (Mayham) colorful mohawk, earring, and eyepatch covering the same eye that Hamster Cabbie has scars on.
While the spray is a definite improvement from the original, it’s almost a shame to wonder why Fortnite didn’t just opt to create something unique instead. If they wanted to remake the spray involving a hamster, they could’ve at least made it stand out somehow with unnatural, quirky blue fur or a brand-new angled pose instead of opting for a front-on portrait. It’s not like crazy colorations are an oddity to Fortnite anyway, but instead, they choose to stick with the same natural color palette.
Changing things drastically could have guaranteed the drama to die down for good, as there would be no visible trace left of Hammond to compare Cabbie to. Unfortunately, Fortnite’s little rodent friend still looks a bit like Overwatch’s Champion of Junker Town, and it doesn’t seem like fans will be forgetting this any time soon. They’ve already taken to the comments of OWCavalry’s Twitter post to poke fun at the situation and call Fortnite out for taking a ‘cheap’ approach to fixing things rather than remaking the spray completely.
With these latest developments, it seems that a collab between the battle royale and team-based objective shooter now has even less of a possibility to occur in the future, despite assumptions for such an event being extremely low in the first place.