'Fortnite Battle Royale' servers down, PUBG developer clarifies issue vs game

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Cosplayer with PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds character helmet seen at Gamescom in Cologne. Reuters / Wolfgang Rattay

"Fortnite Battle Royale" servers have indeed gone down, according to a post by Epic Games. Players who experienced the downtime may have had issues with the matchmaking system, as mentioned in the post.

According to the developers, they immediately began investigation regarding the matter. In a separate tweet, Epic Games said, “Fortnite Battle Royale game servers are currently down and we have rallied the repair team.”

Twitter users were quick to post jokes, with some teasing the developers about yet-to-be-released features. User Wizzite, for example, tweeted, “Release the squads update while it's down? No point in having 2 downtimes in 2 days, right?” The squad feature, as previously announced, will go live as soon as “Fortnite Battle Royale” becomes free this September 26.

A few hours later, the developers updated the post by saying that server issues have been fixed. They also tweeted, “Battle Royale servers and services have returned to a healthy state and it's time to get back in the Arena! Thank you all for your patience.”

The downtime came amid controversies surrounding the game and “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG). Many have compared the two titles since both are Battle Royale-style games, focusing on 100 players killing each other in a vast arena.

Speaking with PC Gamer, PUBG developer Bluehole’s VP and executive producer Changhan Kim opened up about their concerns regarding the upcoming free version of “Fortnite Battle Royale.” Kim clarified that Bluehole’s focus does not revolve around ownership of the genre, but rather the fact that Epic Games provide Bluehole with technical support for the Unreal Engine.

“…and now we're starting to have concerns that they're going to develop new features or improve something in the engine to support that battle royale gameplay, and then use it for their own game mode,” Kim said, later adding, “So, we just want to emphasize this only a problem because Epic Games is the company that makes the engine we use and we pay a large amount of royalties to them.” Bluehole now plans to initiate discussions with Epic Games.

To prepare for the free release of its Battle Royale mode, "Fortnite" will be having an extended downtime on September 26, 4:00 am EDT (6:00 pm Australian time). The game is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Meanwhile, “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” is currently available for PC, with an Xbox One release planned by the end of 2017.