On Sunday, more than 5.5 million people witnessed the thrilling conclusion of Fortnite’s first chapter. The game was relaunched as Fortnite Chapter 2 on Tuesday morning.
For about 36 hours, gamers who entered into Fortnite, the massively popular online battle royal computer game, were met with a black hole that effectively shut down the game. However, it reappeared as Fortnite Chapter 2 on Tuesday morning, offering players a new terrain and changing how they play the game.
The black hole signaled the conclusion of Fortnite’s first chapter, which was divided into ten seasons. The two-year narrative ended on Sunday, when rockets created a virtual black hole that pulled in the game’s map and displays, as well as gamers and the iconic Battle Bus.
More than 5.5 million people witnessed the devastation of Fortnite’s map, dubbed “The End” by Epic Games, on YouTube and Twitch. And that figure just includes those who watched via video stream. Millions more people logged in to Fortnite servers to witness the event unfold from inside the game.
Following that, the game’s official Twitter altered its avatar and cover picture to depict the black abyss staring back at players. Following the release of the new chapter, the visuals were altered back to display new island scenery and features, such as a “bandage bazooka” to treat wounded characters.
“The End” was the latest high-profile live event in Fortnite, which has made such interludes a popular feature. Marshmello, an EDM musician, performed a live, virtual performance on Fortnite servers across the globe in February. The official footage of the performance has been watched over 43 million times since it took place.
Fortnite, which debuted in 2017, is one of the world’s most popular video games, with over 250 million registered players. While it has a reputation as a “kids’ game,” many celebrities have admitted to playing it, including musician Drake, Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard, and Roseanne Barr.
The game also has a strong presence in the esports scene. The first-ever Fortnite World Cup took place earlier this year in New York. Kyle Giersdorf, 16, won home $3 million as the winner.
In recent years, Fortnite and another Tencent-backed video game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, have popularized the battle royal video game genre, leading other companies to release games such as Electronic Arts’ Apex Legends and Nintendo’s Tetris 99.