Fortnite is no stranger to countdowns and theatrics, but this weekend’s mysterious (though probably missile-related) event is a little different. It’s happening just once. Fans thought they’d pinned down exactly when, but today Epic announced the actual date: one day before fans had calculated.
This much is certain: something is about to happen. In-game TVs are counting down to 1:30p.m. EST (6:30p.m. BST) this Saturday, and a siren is blasting near the super villain lair that appeared in the game at the start of season four. In an email, a Fortnite rep told Kotaku that players who want to catch the event in-game should be “somewhere they can see a rocket going off” and stressed that this will happen “ONLY ONCE.” The rep added that there were some false starts to the countdown earlier this month, but this time it’s really happening.
Earlier this week, players discovered that they could set their clocks forward to July 1 and make TVs say “launch” on them. They figured the launch was a lock for that day, but it’s happening earlier than expected. The exact reason why is not clear, but it seems that Epic was extremely keen on letting everybody know — perhaps to ensure that a bunch of gawkers don’t show up on Sunday for the glorious spectacle that is a crushing wave of realisation that you missed the actual glorious spectacle.
Previously, Fortnite took a hammer to its status quo with a comet whose impact with the ground everybody got to see when they logged in. This weekend’s event is different in that it’s a “be there or be square (and watch it on YouTube)” arrangement, but will it alter the map like the comet did? It’s anybody’s guess at this point. If that’s not the outcome here, though, what could it even be?
Ah, wait: I’ve figured it out. The missile will go off high in the sky, and from its gleeful conflagration will arise a message: “Due to ongoing issues, we’ll be disabling shopping trolleys again.”