(TMU) — Millions of gamers were sent into a state of confusion—and even extreme shock, anguish and withdrawal symptoms—on Sunday when the 10th season of Fortnite ended by simply disappearing.
More than 5 million gamers were hoping to put in a full-day session of Fortnite during the live event titled “The End” before a meteor descended on the island where the online battle royale takes place, enveloping the game in a cosmic meltdown that left only a black hole for perplexed gamers to stare at.
In a tweet showing video of the event, top Fortnite player James Jarvis said:
“Fortnite’s season X event, The End, just wiped out the whole island.”
— James Jarvis (@James_Jarvis) October 13, 2019
Not all fans were as nonchalant about the cataclysmic end to a world they’ve dwelled in for so long, despite reports that the game will return soon for an 11th season with a brand new map.
Many young fans were also left wondering if the free-to-play game—and all of the progress they’ve made in it—has simply disappeared, with parents taking to social networks to speak about the apparent trauma and “meltdowns” their children suffered due to the game’s “end.”
One user shared a video of their son cursing at his TV screen and attacking it, noting:
“Withdrawal symptoms of no Fortnite has begun.
Withdrawal symptoms of no Fortnite has begun.pic.twitter.com/w5vempcJ2w
— SLAM Gaming (@SLAMftw) October 14, 2019
While a mother tweeted:
“Hey Fortnite people. Someone PLEASE explain? My son cried himself to sleep last night and I could just hold him.
“He started again this morning when he still couldn’t get in. I woke him up extra early for this, so thanks a bunch. I hope you are having a great time.#fortnite”
Hey @FortniteGame people. Someone PLEASE explain? My son cried himself to sleep last night and I could just hold him. He started again this morning when he still couldn't get in. I woke him up extra early for this, so thanks a bunch. I hope you are having a great time. #fortnite
— Nifflergirl (@Nifflergirl1) October 14, 2019
Another mom said that to her son, the bereavement that followed the loss of the game was like that of losing a pet:
“My son walking around like his dog died cuz Fortnite got canceled.”
My son walking around like his dog died cuz Fortnite got canceled
— Dree (@itsmedree1) October 14, 2019
Another netizen took a more analytical approach, accusing Fortnite’s makers of not properly thinking through the “trauma” that the event would entail for special needs children. She tweeted:
“Fortnite didn’t think through the trauma they may be causing to kids who can’t understand that the game isn’t gone forever. I know that sounds extreme but look at how the neuro typical community is freaking out.”
@FortniteGame didn’t think through the trauma they may be causing to kids who can’t understand that the game isn’t gone forever. I know that sounds extreme but look at how the neuro typical community is freaking out. This isn’t my personal experience but if @Roblox did this😭 https://t.co/2GHhjxWRtY
— simmy7 (@momwarrior7) October 14, 2019
U.S.-based Epic Games released Fortnite in 2018 after an early access release in 2017. Since then, the game has become a massive cultural phenomenon, managing to generate $3 billion in revenue for Epic Games last year and attracting roughly 250 million gamers, especially during online tournaments.
The free-to-play survivalist game allows up to 100 players to individually battle one another or as part of a team until the last player is standing.
Fortnite's 'The End' event will go down as the most watched gaming event in history for western audiences
4.5M+ on YouTube
1.5M+ on Twitch
1M+ on Twitter
and 37 people on Mixer
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) October 13, 2019
On Sunday, the game also wiped out its official Twitter account, deleting all past tweets and only leaving a link to a livestream of the event. Fortnite also updated its Instagram with pictures of the black hole.
Epic Games has yet to release an official statement about the blackout.
By Monday, fans were still being met with the same ominous black hole whenever they attempted to login for a gaming session.
Users jokingly discussed their “addiction” to the game and likened their feelings over its absence to the withdrawal symptoms felt by substance abusers.
Online fan portal Fortnite News tweeted:
“I think the fact that we actually cannot handle Fortnite being offline for 12 hours kind of tells you that addiction really is a thing.”
The end of Fortnite’s 10th season comes shortly after it was revealed that Epic Games is facing a lawsuit in Canadian courts that accuses the studio of intentionally designing a game that would be “as addictive as cocaine” and that many players have been forced to seek treatment for their addiction.