Fortnite’s been replaced by a giant hole? Insert your own jokes. Into the hole, presumably.
Update: October 15 – Fortnite is back with a brand new map.
The end of Fortnite’s tenth season (we’re not calling it “Season X,” sorry Epic) has come to an end in a spectacular fashion. Following a protracted build-up, Fortnite was struck by a meteor storm so big that it destroyed the game’s island.
This isn’t the first time that Fortnite has been ripped asunder by objects falling from the heavens. We’ve seen meteors rip up and change areas of the map, bring temporal and gravitational anomalies, and generally mess up the island’s Feng Shui.
But now Fortnite is gone. Yep, it’s completely gone. We’re not kidding.
The island has gone and has been replaced by… well, a hole. Which, if you’re feeling the urge, you can watch live on the official Fortnite Twitch channel. At the time of writing, 43,000 people are staring into Epic’s hole live, and over 71 million have viewed it in about a day.
In a really neat touch, Epic has also completely wiped clean the official Fortnite Twitter account. It has deleted every tweet, save for a pinned link to the Twitch stream, and changed the account’s image to another picture of that hole.
What’s going on? Well, according to rumours and leaks over the past week, Fortnite Battle Royale is about to kick into “Chapter 2,” which will feature a completely new island. In that context, wiping the original map from existence makes sense.
But on a more fundamental level, it’s an incredible piece of marketing. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so they say. And taking Fortnite away from the world, and generating headlines and renewed interest – yes, sorry, we’re also taking part in that – is probably worth the money Epic will lose on microtransactions for the hours/days/weeks the game is offline.
The balancing act will be how long to keep it offline. It’s like playing a game of chicken with the internet’s collective attention span. Go too soon, and you’ve wasted the potential of this massive publicity event. But go too late, and people will wander off and play other things, like Apex Legends and PUBG and Minecraft. Here’s hoping Epic leaves Fortnite offline for a good while, and gives the overworked and heavily crunched development teams a well-deserved rest.
But, no doubt, Fortnite will be back soon enough.