DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Gamers across the world felt a collective shock this week when one of the most popular games on the market, Fortnite, seemingly vanished into a black hole.
The online game allows players to create avatars that are allowed to roam through shared worlds – commonly known as “maps” – on an online server where they can interact or battle with other players around the world.
The game has been a sensation, especially with teens. Parents have even sued over concerns about how addicted their children are to the game.
This week, as a new season of gaming was nearing the end, levels on the map began to shatter and the entire game was sucked into blackness. All that is left behind is a black hole.
The YouTube live stream has maintained thousands of streamers, eagerly anticipating the moment gameplay is available again:
Since this happened, the game has been completely shut down and unavailable for play. Teens and players across the world have reacted with confusion, anger, and some level of anticipation with what it all may mean.
“It’s not a permanent shutdown,” said Zach Hollinger, an Assistant Store Leader at the GameStop on Wilmington Pike.
“From what we know, they’re destroying the whole map,” said Hollinger, “they’re doing everything new.”
Although the game is free, in order to upgrade avatars, a player must pay for the elements they purchase. Items include weapons, costumes, and other items that could possibly make their abilities stronger against other players.
These upgrades incentivize players to upgrade and begin investing money into the online game at a regular pace.
Hardcore fans, some of whom have hundreds of dollars invested into the game, are upset that gameplay is unavailable and their purchases are currently suspended while the game is down.
Some players even make a living on the game’s servers by buying and selling avatar components on third party websites.
“I know it’s going to come back, but it is a little frustrating that it’s not available,” said Connor, a young teen shopping at a local game store. He plays regularly and was playing when the game ended.
“I paid for stuff and it’s weird to not have it,” said Connor.
Most say they are confident it means there will be a brand new game or major upgrades to what had previously been available.
No one in the area could say for sure what that meant. Many speculated it being a whole sequel, a completely new map, new weapons, or anything else.
Most players agreed the black hole was nice promotion on the part of the game’s creators Epic Games and that it was a creative way to build anticipation, despite the temporary inconvenience.
“I have a feeling they just wanted to give it fresh air,” said Hollinger. “I know as new games have been coming out people have been getting away from Fortnite. I think the people at Epic Games have heard that and said we need to try and get some of these people back.”
Gaming outlets have speculated the game will be launched within the week.
Until then, thousands of viewers will continue to keep an eye on the black hole.
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