Fortnite Live Event: What Happened And Why The Game Wouldn't Launch

After a series of delays, Fortnite’s next big live event, commonly referred to as the Doomsday event, took place today. It effectively marks the end of the current season–Season 2 of Chapter 2–and will set things up for the start of Season 3 later this week. Officially known as The Device, the live event happened earlier today–we’ve outlined all of the details you need to know below, including how to watch, what happened, and (possibly) why the game went down.

What Happened During Fortnite’s Event?

The rumors were true: Season 3 will be water-themed. You can watch a replay below, but the long-awaited season-ending event has taken Fortnite by storm. The Device, the culmination of Season 2’s arc, has been set off destroying The Agency and submerging the entire map in water.

Fortnite servers filled up shortly before 10:30 AM PT/ 1:30 PM ET, 30 minutes before The Device was scheduled to go off. Players who were able to join got to mess around with a team deathmatch mode where a ton of old weapons and abilities were available as “techs.”

Once the clock struck 2:00 PM ET the fighting stopped, and a few minutes later, huge rods emerged out of the hatches surrounding The Agency. Then the device itself, a huge orb located within The Agency, rose above the map causing a huge storm. A huge wall of water completely surrounded the building and everyone around it. The device was able to push back the storm, temporarily removing it from the map entirely.

The event showed multiple scenes as it cut between the device rising out of the ground to a first-person perspective of an office. Dialogue discussing the device, along with something called “the loop” could be overheard before Jonesy, everyone’s favorite blonde guy, walked into the room.

That’s as far as the special event went. No major changes were confirmed yet as the entire map was still intact, albeit surrounded by water and with The Agency now destroyed. More changes are expected to come once Season 3 kicks off later this week.

How Do I Watch The Fortnite Event?

Epic Games says space is limited so you should show up 30 minutes beforehand, and it will only take place once. You can jump in-game to see it live for yourself: Just make sure your game is updated in advance if you haven’t played recently. Presumably, you won’t have to worry about being killed during the event; Epic tends to disable alternate playlists and combat during live events so that players can see the events unfold without any of the usual dangers of standing around in the middle of the island.

Why Wouldn’t The Game Launch? Were Servers Down?

Epic has warned players to ensure they secured a place by jumping in-game 30 minutes before the event began. As it turned out, that wasn’t early enough: Shortly before the event began, Epic announced that Fortnite had reached capacity and recommended you stream the event online. Because of this, players were finding that Fortnite would not launch. We were able to verify this, and there was no error message presented; the game simply didn’t open. Other players reported queues, but in general, it appears if you didn’t have the game open more than 40 minutes in advance, you may have missed seeing it happen for yourself in-game. Epic has since apologized for those who didn’t get to see it live.

What Was Expected?

Although Epic had not explicitly said so, it seemed quite clear that The Device will lead to a water-themed Season 3. Various leaks suggested as much–we were simply waiting to see how exactly The Device paved the way for that. Because of the updated animations for swimming, it was predicted that some of the battle royale map could be sent underwater as part of the event (and, in fact, a new Fortnite leak suggested that’s precisely the case). This would create a radically-different environment for the beginning of Season 3, assuming the changes are story-centric and semi-permanent.

Recently, Epic partnered with OnePlus to get Fortnite running at 90 frames per second on their phones, which is better than consoles like the Nintendo Switch. One thing’s for sure: based on the smash success of April’s Travis Scott event, it’s likely that this Doomsday will be even more ambitious than any we’ve seen before.

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