Fortnite's mysterious missile may launch on July 1

Fortnite season 4 delivered, among other things, a big missile sitting in a silo embedded in the western hills. In the real world it's best for everyone if missiles are never used, but in videogames it's a completely different situation: They're basically Chekhov's ICBM, and if you see one you can be pretty sure that sooner or later that sucker is going to go off. 

When that might happen in Fortnite has been the subject of much recent speculation, and it now appears that the answer is July 1. Players deduced this, as you can see in the video below, by changing the date on their PC/console. Manually setting it ahead to July 1 and then starting the game causes the word "Launch" to appear on television screens in big flashing red letters. The hologram of the rocket hovering above the control panel in the villain's lair also disappears when the date is changed. 

The conclusion seems fairly self-evident—"missile" plus "launch alert" generally equals "things are happening"—but GamesRadar dug down into the numbers and found that they line up too. The Nintendo Switch version of Fortnite briefly displayed a three-day countdown timer on in-game television screens earlier this month. The projected time from when it was first seen came and went uneventfully, but three days from the coming Thursday update is—gasp!—July 1.   

It seems very likely then that the missile will fly on July 1. What happens when it comes down, or where that might be? Those are the big questions. Given what happened when the meteor hit to kick off season 4, I expect it to be, if you'll forgive me for saying, impactful. We'll have our eyes on it, and we'll let you know how it goes. 

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Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.