Millions were left wondering if the apocalypse had finally come on Sunday after the game Fortnite was suddenly obliterated in an implosion and everything went dark.
Some 5.5 million people watched the live event “The End” on YouTube and Twitch that was hyped by creator Epic Games. An estimated 250 million people play the last-man-standing game online around the world.
When players logged on around 2 p.m. EST, they could access only a single mode called “The End.” Those players were then shocked ― and a bit horrified ― when a meteor and six rockets formed a giant rift.
The final image that appeared on the screen was a pulsating black hole with a blue halo. Multitudes were still watching it hours later, waiting and hoping for more.
That may have been the last time we ever drop into that map.. pic.twitter.com/9EbwoHoPZk
— Fortnite News (@FortniteBR) October 13, 2019
— Jack “CouRage” Dunlop (@CouRageJD) October 13, 2019
Since then, everyone who logs into the game can see the black hole. Some tried to work out the secret meanings for a series of numbers shown on the screen during “The End.” Many suspected a marketing ploy that they couldn’t help falling for.
All of the game’s social media accounts are set to the black hole, which means no one can play. (According to ESPN, players can enter the Konami Code ― up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, enter key ― to play a minigame while they wait.)
This is no joke – @FortniteGame are FULLY trolling us all.
If you type the numbers “11 146 15 62 google maps” in Google and click the first link, you get a street view of a crab rave.
— Jon (@MrDalekJD) October 13, 2019
— 30k Asaa (@asaaomg) October 13, 2019
LOL I just FaceTimed my brother and he hasn’t stopped watching the black hole for 4 hours and he’s using a white board to keep track of these random numbers 😂😂😂 #fortniteevent#fortnite#twitch#TheEndpic.twitter.com/VCH72yidg1
— Grace🔜TwitchCon (@pashproducer) October 13, 2019
On behalf of parents everywhere, Thank You Fortnite, for making yourself completely unplayable for an entire day.
— Josh (@krockjosh) October 14, 2019
As gamers shared their frustration online, Elon Musk laughed about it in a tweet. He also posted a fake news story from a year ago that claimed he had purchased Fortnite to “save these kids from eternal virginity.”
Epic Games rakes in some $300 million a month from players who spend money in the game buying outfits and items for their characters, for extra challenges and for mystery prizes, Forbes reported.