'Fortnite' Returns After 36-Hour Blackout Publicity Stunt

BARTOSZ SIEDLIK/AFP/Getty Images

The massively popular online battle royale shooter went dark Sunday after a black hole appeared in-game.

On Sunday, one of the world's most popular (and profitable) games, Fortnite, went dark. 

Epic Games' blockbuster battle royale shooter, which has more than 250 million active players and generated north of $2.4 billion in 2018, essentially shut down Sunday following an in-game event which saw its map, players and menu system all sucked into a black hole. 

On Monday, Epic debuted a new trailer for Fortnite's Chapter 2, showing off a new map, new activities (fishing, boating and pogo sticks among them) and teased a new Battle Pass (purchasable packs of in-game content) for the new installment. That installment went live Tuesday and is available as a free download on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS and Android.

The shutdown, dubbed The End, was telegraphed (somewhat) ahead of time by Fortnite's social channels, though the actual happening came as quite a surprise to both players and the gaming world at large. The event marked the closing incident for Fortnite's 10th season of content and was teased as the launch of the game's upcoming Season XI. However, it has since been branded as Chapter 2 for the title, essentially a relaunch of the profitable, popular online game.

Fortnite's social channels have been broadcasting a live stream of the in-game black hole since it first appeared. Occasionally, various numbers appeared on the screen, which eagle-eyed fans quickly put together to form a cryptic message teasing a new beginning for the game. 

Watch the Chapter 2 trailer below.