Earlier this week, the entirety of Fortnite went dark.
On Sunday evening, a record-breaking 6 million viewers leapt online via streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube to witness the end of a virtual world in which many had spent countless hours. No one saw it coming, despite the aptly titled in-game event “The End” that the Fortnite social media channels and in-game siren apparently heralded.
“The End" had players thinking the event, whatever it entailed, would simply conclude with the introduction of Fortnite Season 11.
What actually happened was more than just a cheeky way to end its tenth iteration of different rewards, skins, items, and challenges for players. It marked the beginning of a new era for the game, and the event that has already captured players' imaginations: Fortnite Chapter 2.
Attempting to log in to Fortnite sent players a blank screen resembling a "black hole." There was no option to jump into any playlist, no way to access player accounts. The game seemed to have vanished into thin air. That prompted a frenzied social media response from worried users.
The official Fortnite social media accounts offered no solace to the millions of users who wanted to know what had happened. In the place of any helpful updates or guideposts as to what to expect next, there was a pinned tweet with a live feed of the black hole that had replaced the game. Not even the Fortnite icon remained. Even Fortnite's Instagram account had been given a blowout of a makeover, with nothing but empty, black images and video of Sunday's black hole event.