Fortnite is back after being sucked into a ‘black hole’ for two days
The past 48 hours have been a roller-coaster ride for Fortnite fanatics.
One of the world’s most popular videogames turned an upgrade as it transitioned from one chapter to the next into a two-day panic for many players as the game suddenly went dark.
The battle royale-style online multiplayer game made by Epic Games (of which Tencent Holdings Ltd.
owns a 40% stake) is the most financially successful free-to-play videogame of all time, raking in $2.5 billion last year. Within the game, players parachute into an island, where they must survive by finding weapons and battling other players — either alone, or by teaming up. In-app purchases included skins (aka costumes for their avatars), weapons and other useful items to give them an advantage.
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But around 2 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, players were met with a black hole on a blank screen when they tried to launch Fortnite. Those who were already in the game witnessed the island getting sucked into a black hole.
Fortnite’s season X event, The End, just wiped out the whole island #Theend #Fortnite #PS4share pic.twitter.com/UbDe9wMuRw
— James Jarvis (@James_Jarvis) October 13, 2019
Fortnite’s official Twitter
account shared a cryptic tweet that read “This is The End.” Epic also deleted all tweets from Fortnite’s official account.
This is The End. pic.twitter.com/JOqE0LZCjF
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) October 13, 2019
And suddenly, Fortnite’s almost 250 million registered players world-wide — not to mention the countless others who watch Fornite live streams on the Amazon-owned
Twitch and Alphabet-owned
YouTube — did not know what to do with themselves. (Roughly 100,000 people were watching a live stream of the black hole on Twitch, CNN reported.)
— HYPEX – Fortnite Leaks & News 🎃 (@HYPEX) October 13, 2019
When you know that you can’t play #Fortnite this night pic.twitter.com/RCNWlHj0pa
— Atex (@Atex_Prod) October 13, 2019
2 million people staring at a black hole for 7 hours😭 #Fortnite pic.twitter.com/J8Vw3Y0peT
— Kenna Shively (@KennaShively) October 14, 2019
While many older players suspected the sudden blackout was publicity stunt, Fortnite is very popular among tweens and teens — and many of these younger players believed that the game was really gone for good.
Related: Prince Harry: Fortnite is an ‘addiction’ that ‘shouldn’t be allowed’
Soon parents flooded social media with photos and videos of their kids having meltdowns over their favorite game disappearing.
My 11 year old crying about #fortnite I have failed as a parent#ripfortnite pic.twitter.com/mPAgftdnaj
— mrs.cruz (@mrsmikicruz) October 13, 2019
Cheers son’s crying. Nice one @EpicGames #Fortnite pic.twitter.com/W4wQlmBLlA
— Johnny Borg (@Deviate__) October 13, 2019
But at 4 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, the long nightmare was over: Fortnite returned, revealing a brand new island to explore for its new iteration, “Chapter 2,” along with new skins and new weapons.
Drop into a New World 🌎
Fortnite Chapter 2 is available now.
Share your #FirstDrop! pic.twitter.com/azURjtP8Cs
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) October 15, 2019
And there was much rejoicing — with “Fortnite is back” trending for much of Tuesday morning.
My kids are so excited to get home from school and play the new Fortnite that they were practically frolicking out the door this morning. I wish I was that excited about anything in my life. #Fortnite2
— Its still me, Jaylee (@MsJayLee22) October 15, 2019
8-12 year olds when they find out Fortnite is back #Fortnite2 #FortniteSeason11 pic.twitter.com/VKPfEUcIos
— James Deshazer 🎱 (@DeshazerJames) October 15, 2019
— Scenario (@iScenario) October 15, 2019