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Forza Horizon 4 removes emotes cited in Fortnite suits

A new Forza Horizon 4 update has arrived, and players have noticed something incredibly interesting. Two emotes have been removed from the game. And you might be able to guess why.

We wrote yesterday about the latest lawsuit that Epic Games is facing down — this time from a firm representing Orange Shirt Kid's mother. It's just another in a string of Fortnite-related suits having to do with emotes, and those who feel that a particular emote was lifted from a dance they claim to have invented or made popular. Both the Floss and the Carlton (called Fresh in Fortnite) are named in other complaints filed against Epic Games and Fortnite.

And, as it so happens, these are the two emotes that Microsoft just removed from Forza Horizon 4.

You can probably understand why Microsoft did what it did. Rather than get dragged into a lawsuit, which comes with court costs or a potential settlement, Microsoft is simply opting to remove the emotes. Epic Games is already tangled in a fight with parties suing on this front, and that gives Microsoft the ability to sit back and watch. If Epic Games battles it out and wins, Microsoft can simply add the emotes back to Forza Horizon 4. And if Epic chooses to settle, well — Microsoft will have kept itself from experiencing the same headache.

This whole thing is going to be very interesting to watch as it unfolds. Fortnite initially caught the heat from people like Alfonso Ribiero and Backpack Kid, but both Fortnite and Forza Horizon 4 aren't the first games to use these emotes. The Destiny franchise, for example, could find itself coming under scrutiny. And there are countless other titles that have included the Floss and the Carlton, as well as other emotes that people could come out of the woodwork to take issue with.

Microsoft, it seems, would rather not bother with whatever emote-related trouble comes its way. But one thing is for certain: the emote question is one that the industry really needs an answer to.