Just the other day I was lamenting having to download a "minor" patch that was just over a gigabyte, but apparently I should thank my lucky stars that I don't play Fortnite on PC. The latest update for Fortnite, version 14.40, adds in the new Halloween content for 2020, but on PC the filesize alone might scare you some. The good news is that a hefty one-time download should cut down on Fortnite's size for the foreseeable future.
Out now, the 14.40 patch on PC weighs in at approximately 27 GB. Fortnite's official support service says that the large patch will result in "a massively reduced Fortnite file size" once installed, shrinking the game's footprint by over 60 GB. The update is also supposed to help with future PC updates and general performance, as Epic promises "smaller downloads for future patches [and] improved loading performance."
27 GB is still a big ask for a patch though. Over the past year, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has been the (unfortunate) poster child of giant installations and patches on PC; it once made headlines for a patch that was erroneously upwards of 80 GB, but it also made waves with console updates that were about half of what Epic just pushed on PC for Fortnite.
The trade-off of a single giant Fortnite patch for a smaller overall install and faster updates in the future may be one PC players are willing to make now, but this trend of giant updates that serve to reduce a game's post-patch size seems a bit untenable. For those with multiple terabytes of storage on PC, it may not be as much of an issue, but consider a digital-only Xbox Series S with less than 512 GB of usable internal storage—people will surely end up needing to uninstall one game just to patch another, an annoyance regardless of whether the patched game ends up being smaller as a result.
Once Fortnite players finish downloading the 14.40 patch, they'll be able to start enjoying 2020's Fortnitemares event, which lasts until Nov. 3. There are new challenges, some Ghoulish Isles to explore, and cosmetics to collect (mostly standard Halloween fare, from a pumpkin-skinned rocket launcher to a witch's broom). I half expected to see some more anti-Apple jabs in this update considering the status of Epic's lawsuit against the iPhone and iOS maker, but it looks like in-limbo iOS players are only missing out on some run-of-the-mill spooky stuff. At least they don't need to delete 27 GB of other apps.