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'Fortnite' Remains In A Black Hole

Dave Royse

Gamers around the world continued to stare Monday into a black hole on their screens.

What Happened

Players who tried to play Epic Games’ popular "Fortnite" game logged in Monday to find that the black hole that ended Season 10 of the game remained on their screens, keeping the game unavailable to players.

Players who played on Sunday found the Season 10 ending event — called “The End” — more of an end than expected. On Sunday afternoon, U.S. time, a rocket on the game’s island setting blew up the world where the game is set, and pulled players into a black hole.

The game remained black on Monday, with the screen showing only the spinning black hole in the middle, leaving gamers no way to play.

Why It's Important

The move was looking brilliant from a buzz standpoint for a game that has gradually declined in popularity from early 2018 when it was a phenomenon that millions of pre-teen to young adult gaming enthusiasts were talking about.

Declining Popularity

The game brought Epic more than $2.4 billion in revenue in 2018, making it the highest-revenue free-to-play game. Tencent (OTC: TCEHY) owns a 40% stake in Epic Games.

But revenue has been down — around 40% in some months compared to last year — though SuperData reported in August that "Fortnite" remained the most popular console game.

So the fact that at one point on Sunday tens of thousands of people were staring at a black hole, either on their game, or on Twitter, YouTube, Twitch and other online platforms, Twitter was buzzing about the “end” of "Fortnite," which was the top trending item on the platform, and gaming and mainstream media was writing about it, looked like a PR coup for Epic.

What’s Next

Going to Epic’s "Fortnite" website for information proved unhelpful Monday — its screen was dark except for the black hole in the middle. According to the site, nearly 60,000 viewers were looking at that Black Hole.

"Fortnite’s" Twitter page also was a black hole for any news about when it might be back.

Forbes reported that information “datamined” from "Fortnite’s" website indicated “The End” could end Thursday morning. Epic has launched the last several seasons of "Fortnite" on a Thursday.

Gaming publication Polygon reported that the Italian App Store may have a hint about the next season for "Fortnite," with a video that showed what looked like a new "Fortnite map," but Epic Games isn’t saying anything.

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