The adventuring realms of the latest season of “Fortnite” ( Epic Games / PC) were remarkably empty over the weekend, just when the player’s mobile app was celebrating the launch of season 8. At first, it seemed like Season 8 would be about incorporating new gameplay concepts, like using winged vehicles and cube traps, and releasing new skins. Then it turned out that the absent players were hunters rather than emersons.
According to a tweet by Vice’s Culture team, the game might be suffering from severe lag, or a plethora of matchmaking issues. Fortnite’s social media team didn’t confirm or deny that, only responding to some users. While lag might seem like an extremely technical problem, especially if there were problems caused by Epic Games implementing a new server update, it’s not.
If “Fortnite” had crashed into consoles or interacted with servers, there might have been lots of info for the affected players, such as an explanation and a screenshot of the game in question. Meanwhile, for Fortnite’s rabid players, we know the game was active, but that isn’t an explanation for what caused the traffic to crash. It could simply have been a lot of players crashing in to each other; or it could have been a redesign of the platform that too many users encountered simultaneously.
Eventually, “Fortnite” addressed the buggy server: The timing doesn’t seem to have been a coincidence: Epic Games unveiled new skins at about the same time as the maintenance was going on. As a single big event, the launch is probably a success. But as a detailed explanation for the lost gameplay weeks before the new season started, the “f*** me I’m sorry” response feels half-hearted. More answers may be forthcoming as season 8 moves along, but until then, players are anxiously waiting to see what happened to the games on Tuesday.
This article was originally published on The Manual.