Fortnite leaks have been a common feature for its massive community, but these peeks at the future of the game could soon come to an end. According to data miners, the end of an era could be at hand as Epic begins to clamp down on leaks.

Leaks are a driving force for hype around events in Fortnite, but they also can give away major details before Epic wants them to be public. This also applies to new weapons, POIs, and cosmetics.

With the v9.21 patch, Epic Games has planted subtle signs of things to come within Fortnite’s files. The age of Fortnite leaks may soon come to a grim close.

Fortnite leak clamp down planned by Epic Games

According to @Lucas7yoshi, Epic Games could soon begin clamping down hard on Fortnite leaks. This new information was (ironically) data mined from the files of the new v9.21 update.

With the v9.21 patch, Epic Games added new type of encrypted files to the game. In the past, some models and minor assets have received encryptions, but major files such as buildings and location have not.

As the image above shows, Epic’s approach has now changed with an encrypted file under the name “Athena_SUB_5x5_House_ii_e_1_HLOD.uasset.” This is obviously a building or house of some kind. The addition confirms Epic’s ability to encrypt larger files.

Encryption prevents the files from being properly opened and viewed. While these can be broken by decryption programs, this requires more expertise than many data miners have. Additionally, once you start breaking into encrypted files, you begin to flirt with legal penalties.

In addition to these revelations, the Fortnite leaker also discovered a concerning “INI” file setting added in v9.21.

Unreleased cosmetics have long been able to be seen by data miners long before their official release, but that could also come to an end.

Lucas7Yoshi also provided a screenshot of the new INI settings. The possible new restrictions include encryptions on back blings, skins, dances, wraps, pickaxes, and more!

INI or ‘initialization’ files are text-based settings files that store certain parameters for programs to be activated upon start-up. For example, this new ‘auto encrypt unreleased shop items’ ini setting would encrypt any cosmetics designated with an ‘unreleased’ tag upon starting Fortnite/viewing the file structure.

What does this mean for players ?

No peeking, naughty naughty leakers!

What’s next? With such drastic measures to hide upcoming features, Epic Games may be wanting to take further control of Fortnite’s release narrative.

In the future, if these encryption plans come to fruition, players may not be able to view new content until the day it is released. This would be more in line with other games’ content releases, but could these changes hurt Epic?

Due to the frequent leaks, Epic’s Fortnite has a constant flow of information about upcoming features even when there are slower release periods. With more encryption, the game could suffer from longer droughts of news and thereby lead to stagnation if Epic needs to delay releases.

We’ll be excited to see if Epic is truly planning to lock future content behind encrypted doors or are they just scaring our data mining friends for a few laughs? The small amount of v9.21 leaks would point towards the former as @ShiinaBR points out.

We’ll keep track of this developing story and keep you up-to-date on Epic’s plans for the future. Be sure to follow us at @FortniteINTEL to get the latest news.