The new year hasn't quite hit North America yet, but the festivities are already underway in Fortnite, where giant disco balls are dropping from the sky and everyone in the game is busting a move, whether they want to or not. Some players were confused by the apparently premature celebration, but Epic clarified on Twitter that things are actually working like they're supposed to.
It’s already New Years Eve in the Christmas Island, in the country of Kiribati and it will soon be New Years Eve in Fiji. https://t.co/pJKMaPIatBDecember 31, 2018
2019 touched down on Samoa and Kiribati at 2 am PT/5 am ET on December 31, and has been rolling through New Zealand, Australia, Japan, India, and the Middle East at hourly intervals ever since. As of this moment, it's about to hit Greece, after which it will continue a tour of Europe and then sail across the Atlantic to North American shores. (The full schedule is here if you're interested in how it all unfolds.)
The in-game party is brief but impressive, and as Kotaku pointed out it serves a practical application as well: Forcing everyone in the game to dance when the ball drops and the fireworks fly should help avoid a repeat of the unfortunate (or hilarious, depending on your perspective) incident that occurred during a summertime Fortnite rocket launch viewing party, in which local hero Elemental_Ray managed to kill 48 people at once because they weren't paying attention.
It makes for a fun surprise for players who aren't expecting it, too, and rolling it hourly as the new year overtakes us is a nice way to ensure that everyone can enjoy it, even if they can't actually be there when the clock strikes the hour. Speaking of which, don't forget that Ninja is hosting a 12-hour NYE livestream from Times Square—you can catch all the action below.