Late in June, the long-awaited 'practice' mode for Fortnite Battle Royale finally launched. But after merely a few hours, Epic pulled the new Playground mode. Now, the developer has explained what went wrong with the Limited Time Mode.
When the Playground mode first launched in Fortnite on June 27, the Fortnite servers crumbled under the weight of everyone trying to access to new mode at once. Being the most popular game in the world can have its downsides, and this is one of them.
After Playground mode was taken down due to matchmaking issues, Epic re-released the mode a few days later, good as new, so it could continue its limited time run. But just last night, Epic took to the Fortnite forums to explain what actually went on behind the scenes. "We experienced an overload of our matchmaking service which caused both the default modes and Playground to fall over," the post began.
Epic uses the "Matchmaking Service (MMS)" to partner players up with open games. "Since Playground mode makes matches for every 1-4 people instead of 100, it requires between 25 and 100 times as many matches as normal depending on party size," Epic continued. "While we could pack virtual servers a bit tighter per physical CPU for Playground mode, we still had to use 15 times as many servers as we had been running for the other modes. We were able to secure the total server capacity, but it meant the list that each node had to manage was suddenly 15 times as long as well."
"In short, we learned a lot about our own matchmaking system and its failure points as well," the post concluded. Epic reintroduced the Playground mode into Fortnite with success, rolling it out in region after region, instead of in one go. The hard work ultimately paid off for Epic, as Fortnite players built some pretty interesting structures in the Playground mode. Playground mode was taken offline on July 12, but Epic has said it plans to bring it back.
As for what's going on right now in Battle Royale, you can head over to our Fortnite Week 2 Challenges guide for a complete walkthrough of all seven new tasks. Or you can check out our Fortnite Season 5 skins guide, for a list of every new skin in the latest seasonal event. For the latest on when Fortnite Playground mode might return, check out our Fortnite Playground guide.