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Fortnite leaves players staring at a black hole

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Clare Duffy, CNN Business


Published Monday, October 14, 2019 10:33AM EDT


Last Updated Monday, October 14, 2019 10:38AM EDT

A special event to mark the end the tenth season of Fortnite has plunged legions of players into a black hole.

Players logged in Sunday to participate in an event called “The End” as the game prepares to launch its next iteration. But around 2 p.m. EDT, a rocket on the island where Fortnite is set blew up the landscape in the game and dragged all of the players into a black hole, leaving nothing but a mostly dark screen and a spinning black hole and no way for users to play.

The outage persisted into the early hours of Monday.

Fortnite is one of the most widely played video games, especially popular with teenagers. Even four hours after the game had gone down, about 50,000 people were still actively watching the game’s live stream of the black hole on YouTube; another 100,000 were watching on Twitch. Rod Breslau, an esports and gaming consultant, estimated that millions of gamers in total tuned in.

Games like Fortnite occasionally go down for server maintenance, usually to the disappointment of users. But mostly, Fortnite is known for its ever-changing updates, so it would be a creative twist to turn an intentional outage into a plot point. It is unclear how long the outage will last. Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The blackout caused some users on Twitter to speculate that Epic was really bringing the game to an end. But most think it’s a strategy to get users excited about the next season of Fortnite, after plateauing user interest in the game in recent months.

“Fortnite Season 10 is coming to an end, and all of this is hype for Season 11,” Breslau told CNN Business. “Instead of just the standard update approach that Epic does for Fortnite … which is going down for a few hours to apply an update, Epic has created an entire marketing and social media campaign, along with a narrative story around it.”

Breslau called Sunday’s black hole explosion and subsequent outage “the most watched gaming event in history,” with millions of viewers on Twitch and YouTube.

“Epic Games are geniuses,” he said.

A statement from PlayStation on Twitter assured players that the digital money and “inventory” they have on the game would not be lost as a result of the blackout.

After the Fortnite outage, some users also complained they could no longer log in to play any other games from Epic, either. The company confirmed on Twitter that its game launcher was down, but said shortly afterward it had returned to normal.

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TikTok owner ByteDance plans to launch music streaming

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(Reuters) – TikTok owner Beijing ByteDance Technology Co Ltd is in talks with big music labels – Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music – for global licensing deals to include their songs on its new music subscription service, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

ByteDance is looking to launch its music streaming as soon as next month, initially in emerging markets such as India, Indonesia and Brazil, before a future opening in the United States, the FT reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

In addition to on-demand music, ByteDance’s app will include a library of short video clips for listeners to search through and synch to songs as they listen, the report added.

ByteDance has not given a name to its music app yet and pricing remains unclear, although it is expected to cost less than the $10 a month charged by Spotify Technology SA, Apple Inc and others in the United States, according to the report.

The company was not immediately available for comment on Sunday.

(Reporting by Anurag Maan in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Apple announces press event on Dec. 2

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Apple will host an event on Dec. 2

Apple just announced a press event that it will hold at 4 p.m. ET on Dec. 2 in New York City. The event will be focused on “honoring our favorite apps and games of 2019.” A tagline on the invite says “Loved by millions. Created by the best.”

Apple typically issues a press release detailing its favorite apps and games of the year annually, but this time there may be some sort of awards ceremony instead of just a release. New products are not expected at the event.

Reports had suggested Apple was planning to hold some sort of press conference in October, although the company ultimately announced and released products instead of holding a splashy event. Recent announcements included the new 16-inch MacBook Pro and new AirPods Pro with noise cancellation.

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Samsung’s Star Wars-themed Galaxy Note 10 Plus

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With the impending December 20th release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker looming like a nearby Death Star, Samsung has announced a Star Wars-themed Galaxy Note 10 Plus that’s giving off some major Kylo Ren energy. It will be on sale in the US on December 13th for $1,299.99.

The phone looks really slick. I love the red lightsaber-style S Pen. It’s a black Note 10 Plus with a First Order emblem on the back and red trim on the buttons and around the camera. In the Kylo Ren-themed box, you’ll also get black Galaxy Buds with a red inner casing, a Ren-themed leather phone case, and a Ren-themed “metal badge.”


Samsung says the phone will come with exclusive Star Wars-themed wallpapers, shutdown animations, icons, and sounds.

With a price tag of $1,299.99, it’s a little more expensive than a base Galaxy Note 10 Plus — which you can buy on Samsung’s website at a sale price of $839.99 — but the extra Star Wars-themed goodies might make the extra cost worth it.

Samsung says bundle will be available in Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, the UK, and the US. In select markets, it will be available starting on December 10th, which is a bit sooner than the US release date.

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