Fortnite goes dark: Is it a PR stunt?

Photo: Pixabay/Epic Games
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CBS -- Millions of Fortnite fans are confused and angry after the video game suddenly went dark. Users were stunned Sunday when they logged on to play, but were ultimately left with nothing but a black hole. It appears to be a PR stunt, and many players are demanding to know when they can start playing again, reports CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers.

Fortnite: Battle Royale raked in more than $2 billion last year, with 250 million people worldwide playing the game. It's a shooting game where players, connected from around the world, are dropped on an island where they fight to be the last man or woman standing.

But this time an explosive season-ending event caused the destruction of the island and all that was left was a virtual black hole with no way for users to play.

Aiden Nesmith and his dad, Tim, have been playing Fortnite for two years.

"It is like the stages of grief. I think he went through them now and just like, he's realizing that it's just a game," Tim said.

Fortnite has been compared to be as addicting as cocaine and tobacco by some parents. The game is free, but players can pay for accessories, including costumes and even dance moves for their characters.
"They would like to hold on to their massive revenue as long as possible," Wired editor-in-chief Nick Thompson said. He added this could be a tactic to draw more people in.

"This is a genius PR stunt. It's got everybody talking about it. And whenever season 11 comes, a whole lot of people are going to be paying attention who weren't paying attention before," Thompson said.

We reached out to the company who owns Fortnite, Epic Games, but have not yet heard back. Social media pages for Fortnite are also only showing the black hole with no explanation.