How is it that Fortnite can pull off a total blackout and yet leave people wanting more? The popular battle royale game, one of the biggest games we have seen in the last 12 months or so, has gone silent. And dark. Millions of gamers have been left shocked (some shaken too, though hopefully not stirred) when the big asteroid in the game started to act up, and eventually apparently blew the entire map to smithereens. And it has been a blank screen since. But what is up, Epic Games?
As it turns out, the asteroid has also apparently cleaned up Fortnite’s official Twitter account, and the handle @FortniteGame now has only one original tweet for its 9.2 million followers. And the same is true for the game’s Instagram and other social media handles. On Friday, Epic Games tweeted out the cryptic phrase “the end is near”, but that tweet also no longer exists. Though the replies of bewildered gamers still exist for you to savour. Gamers are no longer able to log in on Fortnite. That is the end of Season 10, safe to say. But, what does this mean? Rumors of a new map have been persistent for a while now. But could the developers be working on something different? Something more?
Usually, when a game goes blank, it is never a good sign. In this case, Epic Games clearly has a lot of confidence that Fortnite fans will stick around. Though no one knows for sure how big a change it’ll be, if at all. In fact, the game has been consistently making a lot of money for the developers—anywhere between almost $300 million in the month of June last year to $203 million the game raked in, in June this year. Most of this revenue comes from in-app spends from gamer, including in-game currency. But that decline in revenue, though still quite high, may have urged Epic Games to try something new.
Speaking of which, what happens to all the in-game purchases you had done all this while? Has that also gone up in smoke? Or down a black hole? Sony did tweet a while ago saying all the in-game purchases you made are safe, but tweet has been deleted since. The sole straw that the hopefuls to clutch on it has been eliminated.
So, where does Elon Musk fit in all of this? Around this time last year, a parody news piece (or fake news, depends on how you look at it) was doing rounds on social media which suggested that Billionaire Elon Musk had purchased the entire game franchise and deleted it. “I had to save these kids from eternal virginity,” this article reported Musk as saying. Even Musk retweeted that tweet.
Could this just be a great publicity stunt ahead of Season 11? Well, you and I are sitting here chatting about it, aren’t we? Guess, multiply that by tens of thousands of users, and the mind-boggling numbers make this stunt an instant success. Maybe Epic Games wanted a fresh start for Season 11 after some criticism in Season 10. There were criticisms about the direction in which the game was headed, there was gamer fatigue and new in-game mechanized death machines.
Whatever the situation is, safe to say that social media isn’t impressed but there is hope. But then again, I’m not much of a gamer myself, so I’ll probably never quite understand their anguish or the anticipation. But no one knows how long this radio silence will continue.