Fortnite’s New Year’s surprise leaves players confused

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Fazeel Ashraf
IT graduate from Pakistan’s National University of Science and Technology with a passion for writing. When not reading or writing, I can be found listening to rock and metal or playing some classic jams on my electric guitar. I’m also a big fan of horror movies.

To celebrate New Year’s Eve across the globe, Fortnite added a live in-game event. Fortnite has already put out some great in-game events this year. Its winter event was a blast. The event featured a limited-time Snowball Grenade Launcher, a festive Battle Bus, and new winter/Christmas themed emotes and skins. But Fortnite wanted to do something totally unique with the New Year’s event – however, it received a lukewarm reception.

The event featured a disco ball that dropped every hour on the hour. Once the disco ball drops, players start dancing, akin to the boogie bomb. There were also fireworks blasting off every hour.

Fortnite game Disco Ball screenshot
Epic Games / Fortnite

This was fun, but it confused players all over the world. In some parts of the world, the new year had already started, due to the difference in time zones. There are 24 different time zones, so there was no way this mismanagement could have been prevented.

According to Epic Games, the studio behind the popular game, Fortnite had around 80 million users as of September 2018. Obviously Epic couldn’t cater to all of these players.

Players whose New Year’s Eve came before others, felt as if Epic released the update earlier by mistake. The players felt rather special for a brief moment and quickly turned to social media to exclaim they received the update before the rest of the world.

Fortnite game Fireworks screenshot
Fortnite

Epic was quick to respond and spoiled the moment for these gamers. Epic Games’ Co-founder and Vice-President Mark Rein threw some shade at the players and tweeted: “Is it that you don’t really understand how timezones work or you think yours is the only timezone in the world?”

Company Spokesperson Nick Chester and Rein both later confirmed that the New Year’s event would happen every hour to make up for all the time zones. Chester was a bit sarcastic in his response as well. He tweeted: “Woke up to learn that many Fortnite players are unaware of time zones. We’re an educational and international game. Happy New Year to you if you’re already in 2019!”

The event further solidifies Fortnite’s legacy and its impact on gaming. Very few other games have managed to gain so much appeal in a relatively short span of time. Epic Games just had its best year in terms of earnings.

Epic’s success is due largely to Fortnite’s immense popularity. Its success helped the company reach $15 billion in net worth, with Fortnite accounting for $3 billion of the profit.

One of the main reasons for its popularity is connectivity. Epic ensured no player is restricted from play because of the device they own. People who play on PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android devices can play with each other, without any restrictions.

This means no one is left out. Other games do not allow such a seamless player experience. The New Year’s event was a way for the company to show its gratitude to its fans. They were left puzzled, but it was just because they were probably busy playing Fortnite rather than paying attention to the clock.

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