Fortnite, after being hit by an asteroid, has disappeared and been replaced by a huge black hole.
The game is completely unplayable at the moment, with players unable to start a game and instead simply having to view that black hole as it swirls around.
The events mark the end of Fortnite's Season 10, and presumably the start of Season 11. But they are wrapped in mystery, amid feverish speculation about what will happen next.
Fortnite is destroyed – and in its place is just a big black hole.
Developers Epic Games had long teased an event called "The End", which would come on 13 October. It was supplemented by a big countdown clock in the game, which suggested that something big would happen when it reached zero.
And it did. Players that were inside the game saw a flurry of falling asteroids, which destroyed the game – they then fell into a black hole, which replaced the entire universe of the game.
Now, that's all players can see if they try and play. And it's all Epic will say about it, too, since it deleted its social channels and replaced them with a live stream of the black hole.
Can I play Fortnite now?
No. Anyone trying to will be greeted with the black hole.
There is, seemingly, no way around this – no trick to get back into Season 10 or play an older version of the game. Since the battle royale part of the game (and the story mode, too) rely on network features, Epic is able to change or destroy the game whenever it wants and there is no way for players to stop it happening.
Fortnite does include a minigame, however, if you wish to do something in the game. If you open up the black hole and do the Konami Code, a minigame will pop up – though it isn't anything like Fortnite.
There are of course a variety of other battle royale games in which you can get your fix – and some of them, like Apex Legends, are free. So those could be a good way to get your fix while you wait.
But ultimately there is no real way around the outage. Fortnite is down until Epic makes it come back.
Is Fortnite going to come back?
It is almost certainly going to come back. There are a variety of clues, but the ultimate evidence is outside the game: Epic makes vast amounts of money from Fortnite, and it would be very unusual for developers to throw it all away.
That means that after all of this will presumably come Season 11, or whatever Epic chooses to name the next installment of the game.
But we don't know when, how, or with what changes. It may come back in an entirely different form – perhaps, for instance, with a completely different map.
Are there any clues about what will happen next?
Epic has started to offer hints. But it's not clear what exactly they mean, or whether they mean anything at all.
The most meaningful one is the fact that, occasionally, numbers come out of the black hole.
Players found that the first of those numbers, when put into Google Maps, sent players to a huge gathering of crustaceans on a beach – that is, a crab rave, just like the meme. That suggests the numbers could be a largely meaningless joke meant to frustrate users.
New numbers have also started coming out: in addition to the crab numbers (11, 146, 15, and 62), the game is also spewing forth others (87, 14, 106, 2, and 150). The significance of those – whether they are more co-ordinates, or if all of the numbers will eventually form into one big clue – is still a mystery.
If you're just catching up on the night's developments, here's our news story on the disappearance of Fortnite.
Here's everything that's happened, explained – including whether or not the game will come back, and what you can do in there now.
Why are people joking that Elon Musk is to blame for the disappearance of Fortnite?
It all comes down to this tweet, in which the Tesla boss shared a satirical article suggesting that he'd bought the game to remove it. (And mocked the people who play it.) People are now joking that has actually happened.
Overnight, Musk re-posted that tweet with a simple "haha".
Here's our story from October, when he first shared the tweet.
After Fortnite disappeared, Epic did have an actual outage, which left players unable to get into other games bought through its store, too.
The company's Twitter account makes clear that was a real outage, rather than something to do with the ongoing Fortnite palaver:
But it is now fixed:
The Fortnite subreddit – which is currently in lockdown because of the event, with the exception of one thread – is currently very angry indeed.
There are many measured reactions, with people pleading with Epic to ensure that whatever update comes after this is worth all the downtime.
But many are much more frustrated – largely with not knowing what is going on, when the game will return, or anything else, despite the fact that many people have spent vast amounts of money on the game.
They're also sharing plenty of jokes and memes, such as:
(You can find those here, which is a special subreddit opened to discuss the new updates, away from the locks on all the main Fortnite forums.)
Here's a round-up of what's happened so far (via the Press Association):
Fortnite's entire map has disappeared into a black hole, leaving gamers unable to play, as part of a worldwide event to mark the end of the game's 10th season.
The popular battle royale game is known for its large, live showpiece events, and developer Epic Games had previously confirmed that an event known as "The End" would take place on October 13.
Those who logged on to Fortnite on Sunday night saw the virtual island where the game takes place hit by a meteor shower before the entire map appeared to be sucked into a black hole.
Since then, anyone logging on to the game has been presented with a live stream of the black hole and no way of playing.
As part of a complete blackout, the official Fortnite Twitter account has also deleted all of its tweets apart from a live stream of the black hole. It has been retweeted more than 120,000 times.
The game - which sees up to 100 competitors battle to be the last player standing - is broken up into seasons which last several months, with the start of each new season marked by in-game events.
This latest showpiece coincides with the end of the game's 10th season - with many now expecting a large-scale refresh of the game and its island setting before it returns for the 11th season, likely to begin in the coming days.
Previous large Fortnite events have included a meteor shower, a rocket launch, and a fight between a giant robot and a monster taking place across the map earlier this year.
Since its initial release in 2017, Fortnite has become one of the world's most popular video games.
the free-to-play game has attracted more than 100 million players and seen its in-game dance moves replicated by a number of athletes during major global events, including the 2018 Fifa World Cup.
The game held its own inaugural World Cup Finals earlier this year, where more than 100 players competed for a total prize pot of £24 million.
A popular sentiment is that people didn't realise quite how into Fortnite they were, until it disappeared. I suppose it's true what they say, you never really miss something until it's gone.
"I didn’t think I was addicted to Fortnite but my behaviour over the last three hours says otherwise," wrote one Reddit user.
There is speculation that the strange numbers coming out of the black hole might have been decoded (or at least one version of them has been).
For some time, the game has been teasing recordings from The Visitor, a mysterious person whose tapes could be found throughout the map. Players speculated that these were clues to the next season.
Now, players have matched those numbers with specific words in the recordings. By taking the numbers, and looking for that word within the sequence, a sentence seems to appear:
"I WAS NOT ALONE," it reads. "OTHERS ARE OUTSIDE THE LOOP THIS WAS NOT CALCULATED. THE ZERO POINT IS NOW INEVITABLE."
Obviously this is pure speculation, but it does seem to at least line up into something that makes grammatical sense! Expect all to be revealed later...
Here's how the end looked, if you haven't caught it yet. It was very spectacular!
Overnight, Ninja asked for 250k likes on this tweet and promised he'd give a hint in return.
The likes arrived: at the time of publication, the tweet had 318k likes.
And so the hint arrived, too. He promised it was real but, well – decide for yourself. (Play it with headphones, but don't turn them up too loud!)
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