(Credit: Chair Entertainment/Epic Games)

When you have a game as crazily popular as Fortnite, every addition to it can be fraught with anticipation and speculation. Yesterday was no different, as its maker Epic Games teased a mysterious new item coming to the online gaming phenomenon.

This morning, Epic has dropped the hotly anticipated other shoe: This item is the iconic sword from the company's trilogy of Infinity Blade role-playing games that were made exclusively for the iOS App Store. Epic partnered with mobile game developer Chair Entertainment to make the set, the latter of whom is neck-deep in crafting Spyjinx.

SEE: How to play Fortnite Mobile and win: A guide for beginners

With this move, Epic hits two birds with one stone: the addition of melee combat to Fortnite (Android, iOS), and the preservation of an item from a set of apps that the company is discontinuing due to the complications of keeping older iOS games up-to-date for the latest versions of Apple's mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads.

Epic states, "With the development of Spyjinx and other projects, it has become increasingly difficult for our team to support the Infinity Blade series at a level that meets our standards." The company adds that current owners will continue to be able to download the games from the App Store for the foreseeable future, and all in-app purchases have been disabled.

It adds cheekily, "As we bid farewell, be sure to keep your eyes peeled! You may find Infinity Blade popping up in places you wouldn't expect." We now know that it was referring to the new item in Fortnite.

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As we speculated yesterday, a sword would need some additional combat assistance for its wielder to survive on a battlefield otherwise populated entirely by ranged weapons, and Epic is delivering a number of helpful tactical perks.

For one, each swing does 75 points of damage, which is pretty huge. Its wielder's health is also doubled, the alternate fire will let you perform a long-distance jump to close the gap between yourself and an opponent -- and you can't carry any other weapons with you.

Plot twist: Only one player at a time can wield the sword, which itself can only be found at the summit of Polar Peak, a new destination for Season 7. As this item is almost guaranteed to be the part of at least one seasonal challenge, you can expect a regular hail of gunfire if you attempt to brave the top of Fortnite's new mountain.

Good luck and godspeed, and try not to frag Santa if he drops by for cookies and milk. It's bad karma.

Takeaways

  • Epic Games has added a sword to Fortnite, which comes from its Infinity Blade series of role-playing games developed by partner Chair Entertainment for iOS.
  • The Infinity Blade games themselves are being removed from the app store due to the technical difficulties of keeping them up-to-date with current versions of iOS.
  • Current owners of these RPGs will continue to be able to download them from the App Store for the foreseeable future, but in-app purchases have been disabled.
  • In Fortnite, only one player at a time can have the sword, and wielding it grants several bonuses to make up for the lack of a ranged attack; all other weapons are removed from that user's inventory when they pick up the sword.

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Tom McNamara is a Senior Editor for CNET's Download.com. He mainly covers Windows, mobile and desktop security, games, Google, streaming services, and social media. Tom was also an editor at Maximum PC and IGN, and his work has appeared on CNET, PC Gamer, MSN.com, and Salon.com. He's also unreasonably proud that he's kept the same phone for more than two years.