Fortnite remains offline as Epic struggles with unexpected issues: 'This stuff is tricky!' Tim Sweeney says

Fortnite Chapter 5 Season 2 was supposed to go live today, and it still might, but if you're waiting eagerly to jump back into the game you'll likely have noticed that it hasn't happened yet. And it won't for a while: Epic said it ran into an "unexpected issue" during downtime, and it seems to be having problems getting it fixed.

Word of the problems first came to light earlier today. "Hey everyone, we encountered an unexpected issue during our maintenance and we need to extend downtime at least 8 additional hours," Epic's Fortnite Status account tweeted. "We apologize for making everyone wait longer than usual to drop into Chapter 5 Season 2 of Battle Royale. The team is working through this as quickly as possible, and we’ll provide another update when we have more info."

Seven hours into that eight-hour stretch, another update said work was continuing, but more time was required: "Players will be able to pre-download an updated version of v29.00 in approximately 5 hours," Epic tweeted.

That puts the target time at roughly 9 pm ET, but to my reading that doesn't necessarily mean the game will be live at that point—only that players will be able to get the update ahead of its return.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney took a moment to tweet a little joke about situation:

(Image credit: Tim Sweeney (Twitter))

A few followers took issue with the tweet, suggesting that Sweeney wasn't treating the situation with an appropriate level of seriousness, but for the most part people seem to be rolling with it in good nature. Some players on Reddit expressed relief that Epic caught the problem now, rather than after the update went fully live; one mused philosophically, "Maybe Chapter 5, Season 2 was the friends we made along the way."

Of course, there are some real victims here too:

The nature of the problem isn't known at this point, but it's clearly a significant issue: Lengthy downtimes leading up to the launch of new seasons is nothing new, but double-extended delays like this are a rarity. Hopefully Epic will be able to meet the latest deadline, but even if it does, it's fair to say that some players are going to have to wait until tomorrow before they get back into the action.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.