This afternoon, Epic Games unveiled its latest in-game event in Fortnite: a rocket launch that appears to have opened up a dimensional rift. The launch was a one-time event that saw thousands of players logging into the game to watch what would happen. While many people took in the spectacular sight, some people missed out when they were killed mid-event.
Now in its fourth season, Fortnite has exploded in popularity, which my colleague Nick Statt chalks up to its continually updated story in its vast shared world. Epic Games has conducted big, earth-shattering events before, and in recent weeks, teased a mysterious event with a countdown that got fans excited to take part in.
This sort of one-time event feels special because it gives players a unique experience that allows them to witness a new big change for the game’s story. But, given that Fortnite is also a battle royale game, not everyone was able to take part in the epic moment, seeing as they were dead at the time.
A number of players pointed out a sort of shared camaraderie with their fellow players: people enjoying the moment by watching the launch together, rather than killing one another. But with so many spectators looking up at the sky and not at their surroundings, it was open season for some players — one player racked up a new solo kill record when they took out a ramp where 48 people were standing around watching the rocket launch into the sky.
A number of players voiced their frustrations on Twitter after they were killed. Reactions ranged from confusion to sadness to wishing mild pain or a bad night’s sleep on their attackers:
It’s easy to understand the frustration here: a one-time event is, well, a one-time event, and missing out after getting hyped for a week is a huge letdown for those unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fortunately, it seems like some of those players got what was coming to them.