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Fortnite’s The Big Bang event was a blast of marketing for the game’s multi-genre future

Tonight’s Fortnite live event – the first in almost a year – was an eye-popping rollercoaster ride for those lucky enough to see it. After a throwback season based on the game’s original map, it was perhaps fitting that The Big Bang also saw the return of Fortnite’s old capacity issues – as more than 10 million players reportedly swamped the game’s servers, while many millions more were left to watch the event online.

In-game, as the event’s countdown timer hit zero above Dusty Divot, players were initially treated to an abbreviated version of the game’s original The End event, with its apocalyptic meteor causing the Island to get sucked into a black hole once again (although, Epic has already confirmed, the OG map will emerge just okay due to public demand in 2024).

With the battle royale Island beyond Epic’s event horizon, players next witnessed the birth of three major new Fortnite modes due to make a proper debut in the coming week: Lego Fortnite, Rocket Racing, and Fortnite Festival.

Rewatch Fortnite’s The Big Bang live event in full.

Fortnite seamlessly toured each of these offerings, represented as their own mini galaxies in a universe of Fortnite experiences. Players zoomed into the world of Lego for an aerial tour of what looks to be a Minecraft-inspired survival and building game where you play as Lego minifigures.


Next it was off to the world of Rocket Racing, an arcade driving experience made by Rocket League developer Psyonix which lets you drift and flip upside down in futuristic-looking tunnels while your Fortnite character hangs off the back (presumably in the actual game they’ll be in the driving seat).

Finally, players were treated to look at Harmonix’s Fortnite Festival, which will feature big name music stars and rhythm-based gameplay reminiscent of the developer’s own Rock Band heritage. Perhaps surprisingly, it was here the whole experience briefly felt like an old-school Fortnite live event once again, as a towering Eminem stomped around, smashing scenery and breathing fire, bringing back memories of Travis Scott’s turn in the game years prior.

Fortnite Lego screenshot showing a Lego Fishstick character building a house.

Fortnite takes to the race track in Rocket Racing, an arcade mode shown in this screenshot from the Big Bang live event.

Image credit: Epic Games

After a quick trio of tunes, The Big Bang left Eminem behind to plant players in space, gazing on at the gaming galaxies they’ll get to explore properly in the coming days. The nearest – what looks to be a galaxy with the actual Fortnite Battle Royale mode’s new map – features a train, and a sign saying Peely the banana is missing. Hmm…

For those looking to get a peek at some of the experiences Epic has been busy building, The Big Bang offered a slick and whistlestop tour of the future. The way it dipped in and out of all of these felt like magic – and clearly illustrated the seamless switching between modes Epic wants players to feel when all of this goes properly live. Bored of battle royale? Play with digital Lego. Bored of that now? Lets go strum along with The Weeknd.

Fortnite's Big Bang live event screenshot showing the player hovering above a universe of galaxies, each representing a new mini-game experience.

Fortnite's version of Eminem raps during the Big Bang live event.

Image credit: Epic Games

Rather than a black hole event taking a battle royale game into a remixed Chapter 2, this felt like an interactive product showcase, with Epic Games underlining how multidisciplinary Fortnite has become. The only downside was how little of the game’s actual battle royale mode we saw this time around. I was surprised we didn’t get more of a teaser for the battle royale’s big Chapter 5 arrival tomorrow. And after a year without much of an ongoing narrative, The Big Bang felt a missed oppurtunity to tease where the game’s story is going (if anywhere) next.

Then again, I can see the logic behind it. Battle royale is doing just fine, after all, and it’s these new modes Epic Games clearly wants to place centre stage at the moment. It’s been around two years since the company snapped up Harmonix and announced a partnership with Lego – and even longer since it acquired Psyonix. Over that time, Fortnite has proven itself time and again to be the perfect shopfront window for Unreal Engine’s capabilities and continually adapted to become the multi-experience home it is now embracing more than ever. Last year, I wrote how Fortnite was a uniquely work-in-progress creation – a label-defying thing that refuses to sit still and stop evolving. Tonight we saw that on show once again – well, if you were lucky enough to log in.


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