On Friday, an in-game message confirmed fan theories about a one-time-only event taking place in the game, and that players will have to be logged in at the scheduled time to see it happen.
This means that players who log on even moments after the event probably wouldn't be able to see it happen.
This will be the first time Epic Games will incorporate a real-time game event that couldn't be seen by players after its initial introduction. For comparison, as Patricia Hernandez of The Verge points out, the meteor shower that marked the end of Season 3 began days before the actual season ended and could be seen for weeks afterwards, allowing many more fans to experience the cosmic event first-hand.
Ahead of the announcement, developers added several in-game hints and Easter eggs that have been hinting toward the launch. Naturally, players and fan-blogs were eager to piece together the clues.
The first hint was found inside the villain's lair. A hologram had appeared suddenly, above what looked like a control panel.
A few days later, a countdown started displaying on many of the TVs across the island, revealing that something was going to happen Saturday at exactly 1:30pm EST. Here's one fan's recording of his countdown sighting:
Since then, an alarm has started blaring near the lair, seemingly confirming that a launch is imminent.
The same way that an incoming meteor marked the end of Season 3 and big changes coming to the map, the missile has lots of people worried that the launch — and impact — could alter a substantial area of the map for the conclusion of Season 4.
Others have theorised — based on datamining and other leaks — that the missile might soon be controlled by actual players. The theory (first introduced by known dataminers @TwoEpicBuddies on Twitter) goes: One player per round would be able to launch the missile, and blow a section of the map to smitherines, effectively taking out all the players in that section. In a game like "Fortnite," where it's literally every player for themselves, this would be a massive advantage for the player or team of players who were able to launch the missile.
Whatever the fate of the missile, hundreds of players will no doubt record the one-time launch for those of us who aren't online at the right time.
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