The Fortnite event provided limited space and was filled to capacity almost 25 minutes before it began, with users flocking to streamers to catch the action. This caused a spike in Twitch and YouTube viewership, with over 8.4 million people watching across both platforms at one point, according to Rod “Slasher” Breslau. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins noted on stream that he had exceeded 50,000 concurrent viewers on Mixer for the event as well.
The sequence started with sirens sounding a minute or so before the countdown reached zero at The Agency. Midas, the character that the event revolved around, began talking inaudibly. When the countdown reached zero, spy music began, giant towers emerged from the water around The Agency with coils at the tip, which insinuated a weather control type of mechanic, perhaps to alter the storm.
The Agency then suddenly exploded. Light emerged from the rubble, and a giant tower with a huge orb at the top rose to the sky. A duplicate orb shot further into the sky, with lasers beaming to all the towers in the water, then launching beams into the sky, pushing the storm away. The music intensifies!
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Then, in perhaps the most interesting part of the event, the screen went white, you switched to first-person view in a mundane-looking office — you saw a phone, computer, photos on a desk briefly — then back to the game. The screen turned fully purple, rain fell from the sky. More lasers danced in the sky and into the orb, energizing it. Then, the orb disappeared, and the storm completely vanished.
We then went back to the office, which people have surmised is inside The Agency itself. Then back to the game, the map completely surrounded by water — as in, instead of the storm, there was a massive wall of water. “THERE’S A SHARK! THERE’S A KRAKEN!” yelled Ninja on his stream.
Back to the office, the default character was seen in a suit on the phone … like a scene in the Matrix. He looked into the camera, shocked that “you” are able to hear him … then, in a flash, we were on the battle bus. Water was everywhere. The entire map was underwater except for a radius around The Agency. The event softly ended with players able to run around and experience what happens when you exit the safe radius; it appears that the storm mechanic has been changed such that instead of running through the storm, it’s now water. You swim back to safety. The Agency is now a pile of rubble with a few walls left standing.
My two biggest takeaways from the event were that because of the limited space in game, this was a boon for streamers and viewership on Twitch/YouTube, which could break into the top viewership charts. Also, the idea of reimaging the storm mechanic is a clever one. Fortnite is constantly looking for ways to innovate, and it shows here.
Chapter 2: Season 3 of Fortnite will begin on Wednesday.