When will Fortnite relaunch its Playground mode after launch hiccup?
Expectant Fortnite players will find out later on Friday when they can return to the game’s new Playground mode, after developer Epic Games took it offline just hours into its launch.
The new mode is designed to give new players a chance to practise playing Fortnite with friends before jumping into the real thing, but was pushed offline shortly after launch because of demand to play the mode, Epic Games said.
The developer is still to confirm when Playground will be back online, saying in messages to a range of platforms that it was working on “improvements” to its service.
The issue revolves around the game’s matchmaking service, which is used to pair up players before a game.
Fortnite has not specifically said what is technically wrong with the system but has promised to release a “detailed post mortem” once the mode is live again.
“We need to continue testing our matchmaking improvements before opening the Playground LTM (limited time mode),” the game’s official Twitter account said overnight on Thursday.
“We know you’re eager to get out there but due to this we’ll be unable to release this game mode tonight. More details available tomorrow.”
In another tweet in response to one fan asking for a clearer time frame the developers said: “We wish we could give you an ETA, but all we can say at the moment is our continued goal is to release this as soon as we’re able.”
Playground mode has been created in response to the ever-increasing popularity of Fortnite, as a way to help level out the difference in playing ability between veteran users and those new to the 100-player battle royale title, with the ultimate aim of creating more balanced games.
Epic Games describes Playground as a “low-pressure environment” where friends enter the Fortnite battle royale setting for one hour, but with a squad of friends with whom they can create, play and train in order to get the hang of the game’s mechanics.
Unlike in competitive modes, players respawn when killed – unless downed by the storm that gradually reduces the playing area – and resources are more widely available so players can more quickly grasp the various strategies, tools and activities that can be used during the game.
However, part of the lure for Playground is in its exclusivity – Epic Games categorises it as a limited time mode or LTM – meaning it will not always be available in Fortnite.
This sense of rarity is probably part of what caused the rush to play Playground that caused the service to “fall over” as Epic put it on Reddit.
Fortnite players are now hoping to see the service stood back up again before the weekend.