New York (CNN Business) – A special event to mark the end of the tenth season of Fortnite has plunged legions of players into a black hole.
Players registered on Sunday to participate in an event called "The End" while the game prepares to launch its next iteration. But around 2 p.m. ET, a rocket on the island where Fortnite is located exploded the landscape in the game and dragged all the players to a black hole, leaving nothing but a dark screen and a rotating black hole and there is no way to play.
The interruption persisted until the early hours of Monday.RELATED
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Fortnite is one of the most played video games, especially popular among teenagers. Even four hours after the fall of the game, some 50,000 people were still actively watching the live streaming of the black hole on YouTube; another 100,000 were watching on Twitch. Rod Breslau, an electronic sports and games consultant, estimated that millions of players in total tuned in.
Games like Fortnite occasionally stop working for server maintenance, usually to users' disappointment. But, mainly, Fortnite is known for its ever-changing updates, so it would be a creative turn to turn an intentional interruption into a plot point. It is not clear how long the interruption will last. Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The blackout caused some Twitter users to speculate that Epic was really ending the game. But most think it is a strategy to excite users about the next Fortnite season, after users' interest in the game has declined in recent months.
"Fortnite Season 10 is coming to an end, and this is all hype for season 11," Breslau told CNN Business. "Instead of just the standard update approach that Epic does for Fortnite … which is to suspend for a few hours to apply an update, Epic has created a complete marketing and social media campaign, along with a narrative story around it."
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Breslau qualified Sunday's black hole explosion and the subsequent interruption as "the most watched video game event in history", with millions of viewers on Twitch and YouTube.
"Epic Games are geniuses," he said.
A statement PlayStation on Twitter assured players that the digital money and “inventory” they have in the game would not be lost as a result of the blackout.
After the interruption of Fortnite, some users also complained that they could no longer log in to play other Epic games. The company confirmed on Twitter that his game launcher didn't work, but shortly after he said he was back to normal.
CNN Shannon Liao contributed to this report.