Amid reports that more than six million people tuned in across platforms including Twitch, YouTube and Twitter, Epic Games' Fortnite's "The End" event caused Twitch to crash and made it impossible for people to log into the game.
In the moments leading up to the event launch at 2 p.m. EDT on Sun., Oct. 13, people began reporting issues logging into Fortnite as well as trouble connecting to Twitch.
Those who could connect to the event saw their Fortnite characters float over the map, watching from a distance while a black hole sucked in the island.
I guess they called it "The End" for a reason. pic.twitter.com/WVFoyqvaYr— DrLupo (@DrLupo) October 13, 2019
Confused fans watched as the black hole then acted as a sort of placeholder. They expected something to materialize. Instead, the black hole just continued to swirl.
In the meantime, Twitch viewers reported connectivity issues, presumably related to an overload of people who tuned into watch the event. Twitch chats remained active, but streamers were unable to connect and audiences were unable to watch their streams, even though they were listed as being live.
Though it was initially speculated that the long blackout reflected technical difficulties, it appears that this may have been the plan all along. Fortnite's official Instagram account displayed a series of images that seemed to confirm that the pause was intentional. Further, Fortnite's Twitter account eventually deleted all tweets.
The marketing event captured audiences' attention but left them confused and, in some cases, concerned.
Fortnite streamers such as DrLupo and TimTheTatman were unsure what to do as many of their viewers were disappointed with no action. The streaming personalities continued to attempt to log in while tens of thousands of people watched, hoping something would happen.
At one point, an event viewer figured out that entering the classic Konami code would allow players to play a minigame on the screen.
After more than an hour, the game began flashing numbers on the black hole image. Presumably, this will be some kind of code that fans can attempt to figure out.
Epic Games was all in on the event, even listing "Anomaly Detected" on the game's server status page.
As of recent, Fortnite had been teasing "The End," a major in-game event. Leaks indicated that the game would introduce a new map for what it's calling Fortnite: Chapter 2. The highly-anticipated event comes after Epic Games delayed Fortnite Season 11.
The game, while still wildly successful, isn't performing nearly as well as it did during its prime in March of 2018, when Fortnite streamer Ninja rocketed into superstardom after playing alongside Drake.
During the period of non-activity, Twitter users were quick to make jokes.
Every TTV btw in Fortnite rn... pic.twitter.com/VNwlJaTLZ1— Tyler | Code WILDCAT (@I_AM_WILDCAT) October 13, 2019
Looks like Fortnite decided it was time to take action against Fortnite addiction.— Broman (@Professorbroman) October 13, 2019
Well played epic, greatest mental health move of our time.
I mean to be honest after all the non stop complaining and trash talking every day on fortnite... what did we expect to happen? 😞🤔— Ninja (@Ninja) October 13, 2019
Fortnite's 'The End' event will go down as the most watched gaming event in history for western audiences— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) October 13, 2019
4.5M+ on YouTube
1.5M+ on Twitch
1M+ on Twitter
and 37 people on Mixer
As of the time of publication, the game's official channels still show only a black hole. Players are also still unable to log into the game, as it takes them directly to the black hole screen. However, Twitch functionality has returned to normal for viewers, though some streamers are still reporting issues with their interfaces.