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Fortnite remains offline as Epic struggles with unexpected issues: 'This stuff is tricky!' Tim Sweeney says

 Fortnite Chapter 5 Season 2 art: Olympian gods firing guns.
Fortnite Chapter 5 Season 2 art: Olympian gods firing guns.

Fortnite Chapter 5 Season 2 was supposed to go live today, and it still might, but if you're waiting eagerly to jump back into the game you'll likely have noticed that it hasn't happened yet. And it won't for a while: Epic said it ran into an "unexpected issue" during downtime, and it seems to be having problems getting it fixed.

Word of the problems first came to light earlier today. "Hey everyone, we encountered an unexpected issue during our maintenance and we need to extend downtime at least 8 additional hours," Epic's Fortnite Status account tweeted. "We apologize for making everyone wait longer than usual to drop into Chapter 5 Season 2 of Battle Royale. The team is working through this as quickly as possible, and we’ll provide another update when we have more info."

Seven hours into that eight-hour stretch, another update said work was continuing, but more time was required: "Players will be able to pre-download an updated version of v29.00 in approximately 5 hours," Epic tweeted.

That puts the target time at roughly 9 pm ET, but to my reading that doesn't necessarily mean the game will be live at that point—only that players will be able to get the update ahead of its return.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney took a moment to tweet a little joke about situation:

The servers right now: This stuff is tricky!
The servers right now: This stuff is tricky!

(Image credit: Tim Sweeney (Twitter))

A few followers took issue with the tweet, suggesting that Sweeney wasn't treating the situation with an appropriate level of seriousness, but for the most part people seem to be rolling with it in good nature. Some players on Reddit expressed relief that Epic caught the problem now, rather than after the update went fully live; one mused philosophically, "Maybe Chapter 5, Season 2 was the friends we made along the way."

Of course, there are some real victims here too:

The nature of the problem isn't known at this point, but it's clearly a significant issue: Lengthy downtimes leading up to the launch of new seasons is nothing new, but double-extended delays like this are a rarity. Hopefully Epic will be able to meet the latest deadline, but even if it does, it's fair to say that some players are going to have to wait until tomorrow before they get back into the action.