Another day, another Fortnite patch. The one that went live last night is V6.20, notable for introducing the game’s Halloween event, Fortnitemares. Unfortunately, players began experiencing problems, including long matchmaking times, as soon as they started trying to play. Within a few hours the event had already been removed.
“We’re aware of an issue causing some players to experience long queue times,” the Fortnite Twitter account announced around 10:00PM AEDT last night. A couple of hours later the problems were bad enough that Epic Games decided to take the whole thing down until it could fix the wait times. “We have disabled Fortnitemares in Battle Royale while we investigate issues with matchmaking,” it said.
Fortunately, the Fortnitemares event content was back in the game and working around two hours later.
Matchmaking is now stable and we’ve re-enabled #Fortnitemares. Players in some areas may experience a higher ping as we work on restoring sub-region matchmaking.
Drop in now and explore everything available in v6.20!
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) October 24, 2018
Fortnitemares adds monsters that spawn from cube fragments across the entire game, both Battle Royale and Save the World. In addition to fighting one another, players can kill the new creatures to get in-match loot and stat buffs. Doing so also helps complete challenges that unlock new cosmetics.
With Halloween only a week away and Fortnite being Fortnite, people were understandably eager to check it out. It isn’t clear, however, what exactly went wrong such that Epic had to hit the pause button.
It’s hardly the first time Epic has rolled out a new feature and then immediately had to take it back. Fortnite’s shopping carts were perhaps the most notorious example, getting added, removed and added back every few days back in June.
Playground Mode faced similar problems, getting removed within hours of launching only to finally return a week later.
The cycle is maybe less surprising when you consider it in the context of just how much Epic tinkers with Fortnite on a regular basis. In recent months, the game’s been getting almost an update a week, sometimes more. Not all of them are as big as V6.20, but the rapid pace at which changes roll out clearly has its drawbacks.
Other features that went live in the game following last night’s patch are the new Six Shooter pistol and additional items for Playground mode, including changes to Spiky Stadium and the introduction of a new pirate ship minigame.
Most noteworthy, however, is that players can now re-deploy their glider in any mode. Basically, everyone’s going to be moving around a whole lot faster, and unlike Fortnitemares, this massive change will likely outlive the holiday.