After weeks of anticipation, Fortnite’s big Season 10 event happened. Was the wait worth it? Yes.
At the start of the event, the only available mode was a team fight called 'The End'. In my match players clustered around Dusty Depot’s rocket. At the end of the countdown, the rocket launched into the sky and cracked it. Pieces fell off, with bright blue capsules circling around the map. A capsule with a bright red line fell from a crack above Loot Lake, causing an explosion that launched players into the sky. The bubble around Loot Lake glowed and flickered, and a meteor surrounded by capsules fell onto it. As I watched, familiar items like tomato heads and the battle bus were sucked into the explosion and, eventually, the entire map itself. I was left with only a dark screen with a wormhole in the middle and the option to exit.
When I logged back in, after a few failed attempts, I was taken back to the black hole.
Currently, the Fortnite website is just a blank Twitch stream. The logo on the game in my Epic library is just the wormhole, and Fortnite’s Twitter logo is just black: the account's whole tweet history has also been deleted, and now it's simply streaming the black wormhole.All streams of the game show the black wormhole screen. The status page reads “anomaly detected” on all services except the Epic store, and even their Trello is just a black hole.
The event has been teased for weeks, with the Visitor’s rocket being steadily built in the returning location of Dusty Depot. The Visitor showed up in Season 3’s meteor and, this season, has been considered responsible for the time distortions that have brought old areas of Fortnite’s world back to the map. The game’s overtime challenges had players finding voice recordings of the Visitor, talking about time loops, “the formation of the island,” and “the end.” Developer Epic has got in on this apocalyptic vibe, tweeting that “the end is near” and making the unusual decision to have the next season start immediately following the event, instead of the standard few days later. Along with leaks suggesting the next season will be Fortnite’s “chapter 2” and dataminers finding a host of new place names, players were expecting something cataclysmic, and that’s certainly what they got.
Fortnite’s Season 10 was polarising, with unpopular additions and a divided community. I’m pretty sure everyone is ready for a change, but I have no idea what it will be. Looks like I’ll be spending the rest of the day staring at a black hole trying to see what’s next.
At around 9pm last night the numbers 11, 146, 15, and 62 began appearing above the black hole. Eleven makes sense for the new season, but what about the rest of them? As some folks are going a little crazy about this, the official PlayStation support Twitter felt compelled to remind players that their V-Bucks and items are OK, but the tweet has since been deleted.
Esports consultant Rod Breslau cited some pretty huge viewership numbers for the event.
THERE IS OVER SIX MILLION (!!) CONCURRENT VIEWERS FOR THE FORTNITE 'THE END' EVENT ACROSS TWITCH AND YOUTUBE INCLUDING OVER 4 MILLION ALONE (!!) ON YOUTUBE
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) October 13, 2019
There's a minigame to play while you wait but, the internet being the internet, it wasn't too long before folk started analysing the numbers. Some players are correlating them to the Visitor’s audio logs and suggesting it spells out “I was not alone. Others were outside the loop.” The full message appears to read thus:
I was not alone.
Others were outside the loop.
This was not calculated.
— Fortnite News (@FortniteBR) October 14, 2019
Welp, The End certainly delivered on the title. Fortnite's players have been expecting a shakeup, and Epic's both got everyone talking and set the stage for whatever's next. We'll update when things change: meanwhile, I'll just be here, gazing into nothingness with thousands of others.